Do I need to contact my midwife?

One of the things that midwives are often asked is what sort of things should I contact you about? Lots of people don’t know whether to bother their midwife about something they are unsure of. Please see below for a suggested list of things you should contact your midwife about urgently. Remember to ring your midwife on her cell phone in these instances and don’t just text her. If she doesn’t answer leave a message. She will get back to you as soon as possible. If she doesn’t, be persistent or ring her back-up midwife.

Urgent reasons to contact your midwife

  • Reduced baby movements. If you notice a marked drop in the amount of movement or an absence of baby movements over a 24hour period. Late in pregnancy movements will change to more rolling pushing, stretching movements, this is normal. Your baby’s routine may change but they should still be active.
  • Vaginal bleeding. Anything more than a tablespoon is significant, and may be red or a brown colour but check with your midwife.
  • Headaches that won’t go away with paracetamol, and especially if headaches are accompanied with visual disturbances (seeing stars or blurry vision). Other symptoms you may have with pre-eclampsia include excessive swelling, new nausea/vomiting and/or, and/or pain underneath your ribs on the right side.
  • Visual disturbances e.g. seeing stars or lights, blurry vision. THIS LINE CAN BE REMOVED
  • If your waters break before 37 weeks.
  • If you go into premature or early labour
  • Any redness accompanied by pain and/or swelling in your legs
  • If you become aware that your blood pressure is high
  • Any abdominal injury e.g a fall or a car accident
  • Significant abdominal cramps, (not braxton hicks) particularly if they are accompanied by any discharge or blood loss. THIS LINE CAN BE REMOVED
  • If you become dehydrated, (see symptoms under morning sickness). Brown or very dark coloured urine or an absence or urination.
  • A temperature above 39C
  • Symptoms of a urinary tract infection e.g. flu like symptoms, a temperature, pain or an unusual sensation on urination, any blood in your urine, kidney pain in your back, frequent urination (over and above pregnancy frequency).
  • Malodorous discharge.
  • If you are worried about anything to do with your pregnancy or your baby
  • If you have feelings of harming yourself or your baby
  • If your baby is unwell you should ring your doctor, go to after hours or ED or call an ambulance. Check your Well Child book for further information and tips.
  • Symptoms of mastitis, flu-like symptoms with fever and redness and/or pain in your breast.
  • If you are having strong regular contractions, lasting for 1 minute or more and and less than 5 mins apart.

Please note:

Midwives are not licensed and are not allowed by law to treat for any medical conditions outside of pregnancy and post-natal care. If your illness is not maternity related your midwife cannot help you.

You should see your GP if you have a gastric or tummy bug that lasts more than 48 hrs (or you become dehydrated) not your midwife. This varies from pregnancy associated nausea and vomitting with the presence of diarrhoea.


Other things which you should let your midwife know about at your next visit with her.

  • If you have started taking any medication since your last visit
  • If you have had to visit your doctor
  • If you have been in contact with any infectious diseases
  • Any symptoms of thrush or genital infection
  • Any changes in your pregnancy health since your last visit
  • Anything else you wish to ask or discuss with her.

Get in touch

Every birth is a unique and personal experience. We will work with you to develop a birth plan that meets your needs. Providing you with the information to feel prepared and ready for your most amazing journey.