When to call a health care professional during weeks 33 to

Your pregnancy is nearly over — your baby will be here before you know it. However, it's still important to know about problems that could arise and when to contact your health care provider. When in doubt, call.

This month you may be interested in:

• "Decision Guide: Understanding pain relief choices in childbirth," page 325

• "Complications: Preterm labor," page 533

• "Complications: Group B streptococcus," page 563

When to call

Here's a guide to possibly troublesome signs and symptoms and when you should notify your health care provider in the ninth month.

Signs or symptoms

When to tell your health care provider

Signs or symptoms

When to tell your health care provider

Vaginal bleeding, spotting or discharge

Vginal bleeding greater than spotting Same day

Pain

Uterine contractions, more than six each hour for two or more hours

Immediately

Occasional pulling, twinging or pinching sensation on one or both sides of your abdomen

Next visit

Occasional mild headaches

Next visit

A moderate, bothersome headache that doesn't go away after treatment with acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)

Within 24 hours

A severe or persistent headache, especially with dizziness, faintness or visual disturbances

Immediately

Moderate or severe abdominal or pelvic pain

Same day

Pain with fever or bleeding

Immediately

Vomiting

Occasional

Next visit

Once every day

Next visit

More than three times a day or with inability to eat or drink between vomiting episodes

Within 24 hours

With pain or fever

Immediately

Other

Chills or fever (102 F or higher)

Immediately

Steady or heavy discharge of watery fluid from your vagina

Immediately

Sudden swelling of your face, hands and feet

Immediately

Sudden weight gain

Same day

VVual disturbances (dimness, blurring)

Immediately

Severe shortness of breath

Immediately

Severe itching

Next visit

More frequent urination with burning, fever, abdominal pain or back pain

Same day

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