Patient Care Portal

Labor Instructions

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Summary of When to Call

  • Contractions are consistently five (5) minutes or less apart over the last hour or more

  • Amniotic fluid (bag of water) breaks and is brown or green in color.

  • Heavy bleeding, greater than 1 Maxi pad in one (1) hour.

Explanations of the signs of true labor or when to call

Contractions that occur every five (5) minutes or less, from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next contraction. These contractions last from 45-60 seconds and are felt as a strong tightening over the uterus. This is the best sign that you are in early labor.

A gush of fluid that is followed by a constant leak or dribble down your leg. If the membranes rupture, and the fluid is clear and you are within three (3) weeks of your due date, you may wait up to twelve (12) hours for your labor to start. If the fluids are green or brown in color, please call when you notice this.

A bloody discharge as heavy as a menstrual flow that would fill a Maxi pad in an hour’s time. This may or may not be accompanied by contractions. Call immediately if this amount of bleeding occurs. It is not necessary to call for a light amount of bleeding, such as a smear on your panties, panty liner, or toilet tissue. We do not need to hear about the loss of you mucus plug either. You can share this with us at your next visit. Note that it is normal to have some spotting after an internal exam or intercourse.


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