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When to call the midwife

Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any concerns during your pregnancy, or during the 28 days following the birth of your baby.

If you have any of the following antenatal or postnatal concerns, please contact your maternity unit. Our pregnancy and maternity assessment units are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Maternity Assessment Centre, Good Hope Hospital

Pregnancy Assessment Emergency Room, Heartlands Hospital

Antenatal concerns

Antenatal care is the care you receive during your pregnancy.

  • Spotting or light bleeding
  • Constant vomiting
  • Reduced foetal movements, changes in pattern of movements or slow movements
  • Your waters break or you're leaking fluid
  • Painful and regular contractions
  • Painful urination or not being able to pass urine
  • Swelling in face, hands or legs
  • Itching, especially on the soles of your feet or the palms of your hands
  • Severe headache or visual disturbances such as flashing, blurring or spots in your vision
  • High temperature

If you experience any of the following, please dial 999:

  • Heavy bleeding or passing blood clots
  • Sharp or continuous abdominal pain, that does not come and go in waves

Postnatal concerns

Postnatal care starts immediately after the birth of your baby.

  • Significant increase in your blood loss and/or passing large clots
  • Wound concerns
  • Raised temperature

If you think your baby is very ill, please take them to your nearest A&E, dial 111 or use the NHS 111 online service.

If you think your baby is seriously ill or in danger, please dial 999.

This information references content from the "Call the midwife" poster published by Tommy's baby charity.

Last reviewed: 28 December 2022