Atlanta Gynecology & Obstetrics, OB/GYN Physicians logo for print

Decatur: 404-299-9724 | 315 Winn Way, Decatur, GA 30030
Gwinnett: 770-923-5033 | 449 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 200, Lilburn, GA 30047
After Hours/Emergency: 404-487-2450
Decatur: 404-299-9724 | 315 Winn Way, Decatur, GA 30030
Gwinnett: 770-923-5033 | 449 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 200, Lilburn, GA 30047
After Hours/Emergency: 404-487-2450

Labor Instructions and When to Call Your Doctor

Braxton-Hicks Contractions

The last month of your pregnancy is the time when your body starts preparing for the process of delivery.

  • You may start to experience irregular contractions
  • They may last 10-15 seconds and usually go away within an hour.
  • They may increase with activity and decrease with rest.
  • If the contractions do not progress into regular painful contractions they are usually referred to as Braxton-Hicks Contractions.

Real Contractions

Real contractions tend to be more painful than Braxton-Hicks contractions.

  • They tend to occur at more regular intervals, and for longer than 1 hour.
  • They often do not allow you to talk or walk when they occur.
  • They may lead to vaginal spotting or even breaking of the amniotic sac.

When to Call Your Doctor

As your due date approaches, there are scenarios that should prompt you to call your doctor:

Contractions

  • Painful contractions every 3-5 mins that last for longer than 1-2 hours

Vaginal Bleeding

  • You may have some spotting or blood streaked mucous especially after a pelvic exam. Bleeding like a period is abnormal and should be evaluated immediately.

Spontaneous Rupture of Membranes

  • This may occur as a gush of fluid that wets your clothes or a small leak of fluid that may keep your clothes damp.
  • Your water many break when you start to have uterine contractions or contractions may start soon after your water has broken. You should call your doctor when this occurs or if you are unsure if your water has broken as there is an increase risk of infection around the baby the longer the water is broken.

Decreased Fetal Movement

  • As your pregnancy progresses and your baby gets bigger, the movement of the baby may change. Decreased or no fetal movement could signal a problem with your baby and should be evaluated as soon as possible.