Labor and Delivery

Important phone numbers

Keep these phone number accessible at all times. The phone numbers listed below will directly connect you to our office, both during and after hours, along with the hospital labor and delivery department.

  • (623) 561-7250 Daytime
  • (623) 561-7250 After Hours (talk to a nurse)
  • (623) 561-7215 Hospital (labor and delivery)

Labor, When do I go to the hospital?

If you think your water has broken, go to the hospital within in the same hour. Do not wait. Only by checking the water under a microscope can one be sure if it is the amniotic water or not. This is critical to your baby’s well-being. Other reasons to go to the hospital include:

  • If you are having bleeding like a period – do not wait, go directly to the hospital.
  • If you are having 6 strong contractions in one hour (too strong to talk on the phone).
  • If you have a fever, chills or pelvic or back pain that does not go away with rest or fluids.
  • If you are earlier than 37 weeks and think you might be having preterm labor.
  • If you have any of the above go directly to labor and delivery, not to the emergency room.

Preterm Labor

Preterm labor starts before  37 weeks. About one tenth of the babies born in the U.S. are preterm.  About 3/4 of newborns that die, not counting birth defects, are caused by preterm births.  Preterm babies may have problems with their eyes, ears, breathing, nervous system, or behavior problems. Babies earlier than 32 weeks are at highest risk. The exact causes of preterm labor are not always known; it can be caused by maternal or fetal hormone changes, or there may be an infection of the amniotic fluid or of the uterus. Signs of preterm labor that should be reported to your doctor to evaluate are :

  • Constant, low dull backache
  • Abdominal cramps, regular or frequent contractions, that can be painless
  • Your water breaks
  • Bleeding

Monitoring the baby in our office can help the doctor know if the contractions you are having are normal Braxton Hicks (false labor) or could be preterm labor;  the doctor will check your cervix to see it it is changing.  If you are having more than 6 contractions in one hour that do not stop despite rest and increased fluid, call the office or answering service, or go to the hospital to be monitored. Risks for preterm labor are

  • Previous preterm labor during this or an earlier pregnancy
  • You have twins or triplets now in utero
  • You have had one or more second trimester abortions
  • You have an abnormal cervix or uterus
  • You have had abdominal surgery during this pregnancy or a serious infection during this pregnancy
  • You have had bleeding in the the second or third trimester
  • You smoke or use cocaine or methamphetamine

If you have preterm labor, you doctor may try to stop the labor depending on the cause.  Usually bed rest and fluid hydration can stop preterm labor, but medications, oral or injectable may be necessary.  Pelvic rest (no sex) is usually advised. You may be taken off work, or hospitalized for a period to control prevent preterm delivery.