Paging Your Midwife in Labour

Please read carefully.

You can page your midwife at 1-855-539-3016.

Take the opportunity to make a plan with your midwife that makes sense for your own individual circumstances. The information below may be used as a helpful guide.

Early Labour

Labour often begins with menstrual-like cramps that may be felt in the lower abdominal area and/or in the lower back. There may also be some pink vaginal mucus over several days or hours before active labour. Some women also experience loose stools. Contractions are usually irregular and mild at the beginning. We ask that you page when your contractions are 5 minutes apart start to start, lasting 1 minute and have been in that pattern for 1 hour – we call this the 511 rule.

If it is in the middle of the night, say 2 or 3 am, it is not necessary to call your midwife until you are experiencing 511, unless you have a history of very fast labours. Do not stay up at night to time contractions until they get much closer. Go to sleep or at least try to rest.

Waters Break?

Put on a pad and see if you can tell what colour the fluid is. Clear? Pink tinged? Brown? Green?

  • Clear or pink tinged: If you are not at the 511 rule, go back to bed and try to get some rest. You can page your midwife in the morning and let her know what is going on.
  • Brown or Green: Please page your midwife and let her know. Don’t fret. It looks like your wee one has passed meconium (first BM) and this is information your midwife will want to know.

Group B Strep (GBS) status. Are you GBS Positive or Negative?

  • If you are GBS Positive please page your midwife. The timing of your water breaking may impact when you should be receiving antibiotics.
Getting Rest

It is important to get rest and to eat and drink normally. It is safe to take regular strength Tylenol and Gravol if the cramps are disrupting sleep. This won’t mask true labour but will aid with rest and relaxation before your labour starts in earnest.

In the morning, please call your midwife to let her know about what you are feeling, even if you don’t need her yet.

Recap, When to Page

511 Rule: When your contractions are at 5 minutes apart, lasting one minute for at least an hour

  • frequency: to about every five minutes from start to start
  • strength: strong enough that you cannot talk through them easily
  • length: lasting for about a minute
  • And, this pattern has continued for at least half an hour. (If they are not that strong, then there is no need to time them. You should try to relax, sleep, or have a warm bath.)

If you are experiencing bleeding similar to a period – or more. It is normal that you would experience some spotting or bloody mucus, no need to page us for that.

If your water breaks and the fluid is brown or green and/or if you are GBS positive.

If you are feeling a lot of rectal pressure with contractions, even if the contractions don’t conform to the 511 rule.

If you are uncertain about what is happening, do not hesitate to call.

You can page your midwife at 1-855-539-3016.