Most obstetricians and midwives suggest contacting them when your contractions are five minutes apart and lasting 60 seconds and you've had this activity for about an hour.
When you reach your doctor or midwife, be prepared to describe:
- How far apart the contractions are, their length and intensity, and if you're using breathing techniques.
- Whether or not the bag of waters has broken, the time it broke, and the color of the fluid.
- If a bloody show is present.
You'll be instructed when to leave for the hospital. If you're a first-time mother and are able to manage the contractions at home, new research is suggesting that first-time mothers should continue to stay at home until it's difficult to breathe through the contractions. However, if you live a great distance from the hospital, are concerned about not getting there on time or have other special concerns, plan on leaving sooner.