Labor Instructions

Important Phone Numbers
Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group (949) 829-5500
Saddleback Memorial Medical Center’s Labor and Delivery Unit: (949) 452-7067
Fudge Family Birthing Suites @ Hoag Hospital Irvine: (949) 517-3223

The following is a summary of when to call the Doctor regarding labor:

1. Irregular contractions and/or loss of mucous plug DO NOT indicate that you need to leave for the hospital, or even that labor has begun. Rather, it is time to call the doctor and prepare to go to the hospital when ALL of the following occur:

  • For the first baby, contractions are 3 to 5 minutes apart; that is, one contraction starts 4 to 5 minutes after the start of the prior contraction. For the second baby, contractions are 5 to 7 minutes apart.
  • Each contraction lasts from 45 to 60 seconds.
  • You are unable to talk during a contraction and find you must use the breathing techniques you were taught in your birthing class.
  • The contractions are getting progressively more painful.

Call your doctor immediately IF:

  • Your water has broken. This can be a continuous leakage of fluid or a large gush. DO NOT wait for your contractions to begin.
  • You experience bright red vaginal bleeding. Please note that some bleeding after a pelvic exam is normal.
  • You notice a marked decrease in fetal movement.

2. CALL US BEFORE LEAVING FOR THE HOSPITAL. To avoid delays and confusion at the hospital, always call the Doctor – no matter what time – before leaving for the hospital. Nursing staff at Labor & Delivery are ready for you, and aware of any special needs you may have.

3. CALL THE REGULAR OFFICE PHONE NUMBER. Call (949) 829-5500 day or night to reach the doctor. After-hours the telephone is answered by the doctor’s answering service personnel who are trained to notify the doctor immediately of calls regarding labor. If you have trouble getting through on the telephone, call Saddleback Memorial’s Labor and Delivery unit directly at the phone number listed above. If your regular OB doctor is not available, the answering service will connect you with one of his or her qualified OCWMG Obstetrician colleagues.

4. When you arrive at Saddleback Memorial (Laguna Hills Campus), go to the Labor & Delivery unit on the second floor of the Women’s Hospital. Tell the nurses at the nursing station your name – they will be expecting you!

NOTE: For security reasons the hospital’s doors are locked between 8:00pm and 6:00am. Therefore, you will need to report to the Emergency Room during these hours. Tell the Emergency Room staff that you are an OB patient and Labor & Delivery is expecting you. The Emergency Room staff will escort you to the Labor & Delivery unit.

5. Medications and Epidural anesthesia will be given on an individual basis as requested or as needed, subject to your progress in labor. Please make your preferences clear to your labor nurse and doctor. Spontaneous (natural starting) labors are generally preferred to induced for the health and safety of mother and baby. Remember that you are not “overdue” until two weeks after your due date.

6. Your labor nurse will ask you for the name of the Pediatrician that you have chosen to take care of your baby. It is very important that you make this selection in advance in order for the proper doctor to care for your baby while in the hospital. Please make sure that the Pediatrician chosen is contracted with your insurance plan.

7. Your medical condition and your time of admission will determine your length of stay in the hospital. Most insurance plans allow for 2 days for a vaginal delivery and 4 days for a C-section. You will not be discharged from the hospital until you are medically stable, regardless of what number day it is.

8. If you have any questions, please call us. We do not want you to worry needlessly. It is more expeditious, however, if you call rather than your husband or another individual. There may be questions that only you can answer.

9. Remember, when calling, identify yourself to the answering service by:

  • WHAT NUMBER BABY THIS IS (i.e. Is this your first baby?)


Dear Patient,

We are here for you. Due to COVID-19 and staff shortage, you may experience longer wait times on the phone and in the lobbies. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we try to service you as effectively as possible!

Your safety and our staff’s safety are important to us, we have made changes to accommodate and provide high-quality care.

PLEASE NOTE: All patients are required to wear a face mask prior to entering the office. Please refer to our COVID-19 Page for our updated Visitor Policy.

Thank you for understanding.

In Good Health,

OCWMG Physicians