Providing Professional Doula Services to Families in Greenwich, Westchester and NYC

When Your Water Breaks... Or Doesn't

by: 
The Rock n Roll...

If your water breaks...

There is a rumor going around that your water breaking, is the first indication of labor. I was a week late with my first baby and was convinced that she was NEVER COMING! They never said it was an estimated due date, they always said DUE DATE and when that date came and went and I didn’t feel any different, I was pissed! No, literally! LOL!

I woke up one morning and went to pee. Got back in bed and more pee came out. Went back to pee and clean up, got back into bed and it happened again. I Did this 2 more times before I got up, showered and went to my OB appointment. It turned out, my water had broken!

For a small handful, water breaking is the first sign of labor. But for most, this is simply not the case. I think we have to chalk this one up to sitcoms… I guess that is the “funniest” way to say, a woman is in labor and everyone should freak out!

When I was pregnant with Erica and Jerry and I took our childbirth education class, I remember our instructor talking in depth about this topic. Her advice… if you’re in a grocery store and your water breaks, drop a jar of pickles on the floor and act like it’s pickle juice, then get right to the hospital.

Really!? That’s your advice. Breed more hysteria?

OK, here’s the real deal…

*About 10-15% of women start labor with their water breaking.

That’s all! Only about 10-15%.

*If your water breaks outside of the place you will give birth and your provider is not with you when it happens, take note of a few things.

(C.O.A.T.) Color, Odor, Amount, Time

These are things that your provider will want to know.

COLOR-should be clear. Yellow or greenish brown color would indicate that the baby has had a bowel movement in utero  (meconium)

ODOR-A mild or odorless smell is normal but a strong odor may indicate infection.

AMOUNT- Note whether it is a trickle or a gush. If you are unsure if your water has broken, go to the bathroom, urinate and then lay down on your side for 10-15 minutes and then stand up. If water has pooled in your vagina and comes out when you stand up, it would be a strong indication that your water broke.

TIME- There is an increased risk of infection as time passes once your water breaks. Your doctor or midwife may want to induce labor if contractions do not start on their own within a period of time.

*If your water breaks and you are positive for Group B Strep, your provider will want you to come to the hospital right away so that they may administer antibiotics to you.

*If your water breaks and you are not having contractions and you are negative for Group B Strep, consider staying active to try to bring on contractions. Walking can be helpful during this time.

*Sometimes, your provider will break your water to ”help move your labor along” You always have a choice in this and have the right to have a conversation about this prior to it happening.

*Often your water will break on it’s own at some point during your labor. If this happens, let your nurse know so that she can note C.O.A.T.

*For a small handful, their babies are “born in the caul”. This is how we refer to babies born in the amniotic sac. When the water stays intact because the membranes don’t rupture the baby can be born still in the sac.

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