When to Call the Doctor on Call or Come In to Labour Delivery (Third Floor VGH)
Should you have any concerns regarding your health or your baby’s health, please call your maternity family doctor’s office during office hours. Should you have urgent concerns and it is after office hours, please call the answering service at 1-888-273-1185 to have the doctor on call paged. Should you not receive a return call within 30 – 45 minutes, please have the doctor paged again, in case the initial page was not received.
Should you have emergency concerns (such as severe pain or significant bleeding) and you are more than 20 weeks pregnant, it is NOT necessary to speak to the doctor on call before heading up to the Labour and Delivery Ward. Please go directly there for assessment.
If you are full term (37 or more weeks pregnant), and you believe you are in established labour, please come into Labour Delivery when your contractions are approximately every 4 to 5 minutes apart, last 45 to 60 seconds, and are painful. It may take several hours of prodromal or “pre-labour” before active labour becomes established.
It is likely that you will have bloody show with “true labour” and this is considered to be a positive sign of progress. Generally bloody show consists of blood admixed in the vaginal/cervical secretions. Should there be a large amount of bright red bleeding, please come into Labour Delivery for assessment.
In labour, there should be a break in the pain between contractions when the uterus becomes soft again. Should you have severe pain, significant bleeding or pain that does not abate between contractions, please come to labour delivery right away.
*Should you have emergency concerns (such as severe pain or significant bleeding), and you are 20 weeks pregnant or more, it is NOT necessary to speak to the doctor on call before heading up to the Labour and Delivery Ward. Please go directly there for assessment. If you are less than 20 weeks pregnant, go directly to the Emergency Room at Victoria General Hospital.
We prefer to be able to address your concerns by contacting the doctor on call or by being assessed at Labour Delivery rather than by having you attend a walk in clinic or call the Nurses’ Line.
At times, your membranes may rupture (water may break) prior to the onset of labour. If you carry Group B Streptococcus and your membranes rupture, please head up to Labour Delivery for antibiotics and assessment. Group B Streptococcus is a bacteria that many women carry. It generally does not cause any symptoms in the mom, but the baby is placed at a higher risk of developing infection if exposed to this bacteria especially over a prolonged period of time (during long labours). Generally women are screened to see if they carry this bacteria between 35 and 37 weeks of pregnancy. The moms who carry this bacteria are given intravenous antibiotics in active labour or after their water breaks, should that occur before labour, to prevent infection from developing in their babies. All babies born to these moms are routinely closely monitored for any signs of infection.
If your water breaks and the fluid is green or brown, please head up to Labour Delivery for assessment. When a baby has passed his or her first stool while still in utero, the fluid has this appearance. This can happen in normal situations, especially if your baby is overdue, or it can be, at times, associated with the baby being stressed.
If your water breaks and the fluid is clear or pinky, as it generally is, and the baby is continuing to move well, please contact your regular maternity doctor or contact the doctor on call for direction.
If you notice a significant change in your baby’s movement pattern, please contact your regular maternity doctor or contact the doctor on call for direction.
If you have had a previous rapid delivery and feel labour is progressing rapidly again, please have the answering service pass that message along to us as you head into the Labour Room.
If you are booked for a C-Section and go into labour, please do not have anything to eat or drink, and come to Labour Delivery.
Should you have any other concerns and you are unsure what to do, please call your regular maternity doctor or contact the doctor on call for direction. We prefer that you do not seek medical attention for pregnancy related concerns from a walk in clinic, nor obtain phone advice through the Nurses’ Line. We do not want any of our patients to be worrying unnecessarily or experiencing health concerns and not obtaining appropriate medical attention.