Out Of Hours
During mid to late pregnancy, you will be able to contact your maternity unit at all hours, night or day, on any day (including weekends and bank holidays) with urgent symptoms. The gestation at which you will be seen by your maternity unit out of hours varies greatly and can be as early as 14 weeks in some areas and up to 20 weeks in others.
Prior to this, you would be referred to your local Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) which is not normally open at weekends or out of hours.
We advise that you research your area to find out the specific protocol where you are. You can find your local EPU, with opening times available here:
Find out in your area at what gestation your maternity unit will see you if you are worried out of hours by making sure you ask your midwife at your booking in appointment, or by asking your maternity unit directly.
What happens if I am experiencing worrying symptoms before my midwife unit will see me out of hours?
- You can call 111 for urgent advice.
- If you are experiencing severe pain, heavy bleeding and you are feeling unwell, you can access help through your local A&E Department.
- In an emergency, call 999.
Once you have established your area’s protocol re gestation…
Symptoms that are important to call your maternity unit about immediately include:
- A high temperature
- Bleeding or leaking fluid (clear or any colour)
- Obvious swelling of hands, face or upper body
- A persistent headache
- Problems with vision (blurring, flashing lights or spots, difficulty focussing)
- You have noticed your baby’s movements have slowed down, changed or stopped (from 28 weeks)
- Itching (particularly hands and feet)
If you feel worried or concerned, always trust your instincts and get checked out!