Who, when, and why to call in labor

General Guidelines

  1. 5-1-1 Contractions: Call when you are having contractions 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute, for 1 hour.
  2. Ruptured membranes, clear fluid, no labor pains and your vaginal culture for Group B strep at 36 weeks was positive.
  3. If your membranes rupture after 5:30 PM and your Group B strep culture was negative, you can wait for signs of labor. If you are not in active labor by 7:00 AM, please call our office.
  4. If your membranes rupture during the day
  5. Ruptured membranes, green amniotic fluid. This may be meconium (fetal stool) which occasionally signifies fetal distress. You will be instructed to come to the hospital when fluid is this color.
  6. Heavy bleeding and/or unremitting, severe pain.
  • During office hours, please call us to discuss plans: (415) 666-1250, choose option #1
  • Outside of office hours, please dial: (415) 666-1250 and press “0”. Our nurse triage service will make an assessment and give instructions to you. An on call physician is available 24 hours a day and the nurses can reach us if necessary.
  • If instructed by a physician, call the hospital triage desk at CPMC @ (415) 600-2100

Usually labor pains are uniform in their intensity and predictably rhythmic in their timing.

In general, when at term, there is NO need to call if:

  1. You are cramping or having erratic contractions, even if some are strong.
  2. You note a slight bloody discharge, pass your mucous plug, or see blood tinged mucous in the absence of regular labor pains.


B&W image of a stylish waiting room.

Get Online Access to Your Account!

Contact Us

1725 Montgomery Street
Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94111

Tel: (415) 666-1250
Fax: (415) 398-2696