Call the Midwife

Years ago, the saying was "Call the Midwife!" This message is just as significant now as it was then. As a mum, you will get to know your bump and recognise when something doesn’t feel right. You will also be very in tune with your own body. Here are some symptom’s that shouldn’t be ignored and should be reported to your Midwife or GP without delay.

This list is not exhaustive so please call your midwife if you have any other concerns.

Reduced Fetal Movements

Babies movement patterns should not slow down towards the end of pregnancy. If you notice a change in your baby’s usual movement pattern, call your midwife straight away.


You may have an infection if you experience pain whilst passing urine, pain in your abdomen or loin, blood in your urine, or a high temperature. Vomiting or diarrhoea can also be signs of an infection.

Premature Labour

The main signs of labour starting are strong, regular contractions, and a 'show' (when the plug of mucus sealing your cervix comes away). Signs of premature labour may be more subtle, however, other signs that you are going into labour can include your waters breaking, backache, vomiting or nausea, and diarrhoea.


Mild or severe itching especially affecting the hands and feet could be signs of Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy. Sometimes itching may occur anywhere on the body and other symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), dark urine and pale stools.

Fluid Retention (Swelling of feet, ankles, face or hands)

Sudden swelling can indicate Pre-Eclampsia and needs to be reported to your medical team straight away. Other symptoms of Pre-Eclampsia include: Headaches (especially those that do not disappear with simple painkillers)

Sudden swelling of one leg only is important too and should not be ignored as it can be a sign of a thrombosis (clot in the leg).

Nausea or vomiting

Pain in your tummy, especially if it is either on the right side or in the centre of your tummy near your ribcage.

Visual problems

Floaters are a common problem but look out for flashing lights.


If you think you may have gestational diabetes because it runs in the family or you have any of the following symptoms, please speak to your midwife:

  • Increased thirst
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred vision

Other symptoms not to ignore

  • Vaginal fluid or Bleeding
  • Feeling faint and dizzy
  • Any abdominal pain, even if it eases whilst resting
  • Mothers Instinct that something isn’t right

Always have the number of your local maternity ward stored in your mobile phone so you can speak to them without delay if you have any questions or concerns.

Download our new poster to display in your local GP surgery or Antenatal clinic.