Knoxville's First OB/GYN Group - providing comprehensive care for Women
(865) 524-3208
Mon - Fri: 9:00AM - 5:00PM Sat - Sun: Closed

When to Call a Doctor

When to call your doctor

  • Contractions may begin 15-20 minutes apart and last 30-45 seconds.  Usually, you will not need to go to the hospital when your contractions begin.
  •  It is time to call the doctor when your contractions are 5 minutes apart, last at least 60 seconds and you have to breathe through the contractions.
  • The contractions should be five minutes apart for at least one hour.
  • If you think your water has broken (a sudden gush of fluid or constant trickling down your leg) you should call the doctor.
  • Call the doctor if you experience bleeding or decreased fetal movement, or have questions regarding symptoms you are experiencing.
  • We have an answering service relaying calls to the physicians. If for some reason you do not receive a call back from a physician in 30 minutes, please call the exchange again–there are some situations when the pages do not go through the satellite tower.
  • False labor – It may be difficult to tell the difference between false and true labor.  Call the doctor if you are not sure.  Be prepared for the possibility of being sent back home if you are having false labor.

Early labor at home

  • Activity – try to rest in order to conserve your energy.  However, some patients find walking helpful.
  • Eating (while at home) – You may drink liquids or eat soup or jell-o, but avoid eating a heavy meal to prevent nausea and vomiting when labor progresses.