What is one of the biggest fears of a woman during pregnancy? Water break incidents that happen in public! All pregnant women should know a bit about what happens when her water breaks.
The fluid that surrounds and cushions baby while in the womb is called amniotic fluid. The membrane that holds the amniotic fluid and keeps it intact, clean and safe is referred to as the amniotic sac, amniotic membrane, or the bag of water.
What happens when my water breaks?
- It is more common for your bag of water to break when you’re in labor, than for it to break before labor begins. This is called premature rupture of membranes. This happens in less than 15 percent of pregnancies prior to labor starting.
- When the bag breaks, you may feel a large gush of fluid or just a small trickle. If it is amniotic fluid, it will continue to leak from the vagina continuously and uncontrollably.
How will I tell if my water breaks?
- Sometimes it is difficult to tell whether the trickle of fluid you felt was leakage of urine, heavy discharge, or your bag of water breaking.
- If you are unsure of whether or not your water broke, it’s o.k.. It is difficult to tell if your water broke without doing a sterile speculum exam. Place a pad in your underwear and monitor if more fluid comes out. Be sure to call your midwife. She will guide you in what to do next.
- Notice if the fluid leaking has any color or odor to it. This is important information that your midwife will want to know.
- Do not insert anything into your vagina if you think your water broke, and do not have intercourse. A shower may be o.k., but your midwife may want you to head into the hospital first.
Does labor start now?
- Uncommonly, the membranes will rupture without any signs of labor. Labor typically will begin soon. There are times that labor does not begin spontaneously, and an induction of labor may be considered to avoid infection.
What if I go into labor but my bag of water has not broken, what happens then?
- Remember, it is more common to be in labor first, and then spontaneously your water breaks.
- At some point during labor, your water may break on it’s own, or your midwife may intervene and perform an amniotomy (artificial rupture of membranes) for reasons that would be discussed between you and your midwife.
- An amniotomy may be done under certain circumstances to help induce labor.
For every woman during pregnancy, water break incidents don’t have to be scary. They are natural. If you have questions about this or any other aspect of pregnancy, Contact us or use our chat to get your prenatal appointment scheduled.