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Pregnancy And The Emergency Service – When Do We Call The Ambulance?


Every pregnant woman must learn which symptoms during pregnancy might represent an emergency and when to call the doctor or directly to the emergency room. Unfortunately, many young mothers-to-be live in constant fear and stress, panic at any sign of discomfort and think of the worst! It is a negative attitude, which, besides stressing them out, stops them from experiencing the wonderful experience of becoming a mother – because, among the problems, there is also a lot of joy…

Sometimes, this type of articles – the ones about pregnancy and emergency service – can scare them even more. There is a big difference between knowing and monitoring the possible symptoms of a problem and being constantly worried and negative! Caution is necessary, but try to think positive and realize that severe problems appear rarely and if you take care of yourselves properly, you will have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy labour!

Pregnancy and emergency service – sign of a possible emergency:

  • Abundant vaginal bleeding – it can be a sign of miscarriage or other difficulties (ectopic pregnancy during the first trimester or trouble with the placenta in the last trimester), especially if followed by severe abdominal pain;
  • Severe and lasting abdominal pain which does not get better (if there are no other symptoms, call the doctor first);
  • Severe vomiting, accompanied by fever or pain (or the case in which nausea is so severe, that you cannot drink water or eat anything – it implies the risk of dehydration);
  • High fever and signs of dehydration;
  • Dizziness, confusion (concentrating or even speaking problems), persistent headache and seeing problems (fogginess, double sight, seeing spots or losing sight); you do not have to wait to experience all these symptoms – if you notice at least one of them, call the doctor first;
  • The foetus’ movements decrease or even disappear – when the baby starts to move, you will be able to notice if his activity is slowing down; regarding this matter, ask for your doctor’s opinion first to see if it is a possible emergency – generally, two hours without any movement represent an emergency, as well as two hours with less than ten moves;
  • Sudden inflammation of the feet, ankles, hands or face (it can be preeclampsia, but if the inflammation is not severe and it involves only the feet, call your doctor first – you might experience just an oedema);
  • Persistent pain and inflammation of one foot (call the doctor first);
  • Severe dizziness and fainting;
  • Heart palpitation, chest pain or pain in your arm;
  • Breathing problems (depending on how severe it is, on how difficult it is for you to breathe, either call the doctor or call the emergency service; if your lips turn blue, call directly to the emergency room);
  • Chest pain and severe cough, possibly accompanied by blood;
  • Intoxications – if you think you have been exposed to a toxic substance and your state strengthens your assumption, call immediately to the emergency room; do the same if you have an allergic reaction;
  • Persistent contractions – it might be difficult to tell authentic contraction from Braxton Hicks contractions; however, if you have regular, persistent and painful contractions, ask for your doctor’s advice (in case they are extremely painful and involve bleeding, call directly to the emergency room);
  • Spasms;
  • Any hit or fall followed by pain or bleeding (after any fall or hit in the abdominal area, talk to your doctor, even if you do not experience any unpleasant sensations);
  • Burns;

Pregnancy and the emergency service – what if you are not sure?

Try not to panic, monitor your symptoms and, according to your state, call either the doctor and ask for his advice, or directly to the emergency room. You should generally call directly to the emergency service if you experience one of the following severe symptoms: abundant vaginal bleeding; high fever and dehydration; dizziness and fainting; severe breathing problems and an intensified heart rate, accompanied by chest pain. When you are not sure whether it’s an emergency, it is best to talk to your doctor first – but do it immediately. If the doctor is not available, caution is always essential, even if it will prove to be a false emergency.

Pregnancy and the emergency service – additional advice:

  • Always keep the number of your obstetrician at arm’s reach;
  • You can take up a first-aid class, which will make you more confident and will help you identify an emergency more quickly – plus, you will learn the proper first-aid measures;
  • If you call to the emergency service, speak as calmly and as clearly as possible and do not hang up the phone until the arrival of the ambulance or until the operator tells you to hang up.
  • Establish an emergency signal with your husband or with your closest person, in case you are alone when something happens.


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