When My Water Breaks...What Next?

  • By Heather Shelley
  • 27 Feb, 2017
When My Water Breaks, What Next?

“It's happening! It's finally happening!” Imagine. After many months of waiting and preparing, the day has come. Your water has broken. Most likely, you're a ball of nervous excitement. “What should I do now?” you ask yourself as you try to keep calm.

This doesn't have to be the scenario for you. You don't have to wonder what to do next or what to expect in the coming hours. Why mar the beautiful experience of giving birth with stress and panic?

Instead, you can go into it well-prepared. Cool, calm and collected. In the best position to enjoy the phenomenal experience ahead. How? Continue reading to find out what you should expect and what steps you should take when the big day arrives.

No Need to Fear

First, let us set your mind at ease. Many expecting mothers imagine nothing short of a flash flood when they think of their water breaking. However, this is far less common than you might think.

In fact, only 10 to 15% of women have their water break before labor . And an even smaller percentage of that percentage release a large amount of fluid. So there's no need to be consumed with worry about a potentially embarrassing accident.

Just be prepared by stashing some pads and towels in your car or purse in case you’re away from home. You may also want to put a plastic cover over your mattress as water often breaks at night or in the early morning hours.

You'll most likely feel a popping sensation when the amniotic sac ruptures followed by a slow trickling of liquid. What should you do then?

Next Steps

Get Cleaned Up

You'll want to use a pad to catch any additional fluid that may leak. If you’d like to get cleaned up, you’re okay to shower. That’s a better option than taking a bath, which can potentially introduce bacteria.  

Because the amniotic sac — a sort of protective wall around the baby — is now ruptured, there's an increased risk of infection. Of course, you wouldn’t want that! Avoid using tampons or doing anything that could introduce potentially harmful bacteria into the birth canal.

Check the Fluid

Observe the color of the fluid. Amniotic fluid is clear and has no odor. If it is yellow, it may be urine. Urine leakage is quite common in the final stages of pregnancy. If the fluid is brown or green, it could be that the baby has had a bowel movement. This could be a sign of distress, so monitoring will be necessary and a medical professional should be contacted right away.

Note the Time

Once you’ve determined that your water has in fact broken, mark down the time when it happened. That way your midwife can discuss with you an appropriate timeline for your care and the care of the baby.

Based on the time that you record, it may be decided that if contractions have not begun by a certain time, labor will be induced. Your midwife will most likely use a natural approach to achieve this if it is necessary.

Wait

If you haven't already started the labor process, which some women do, contractions usually begin within 12 to 24 hours. Whenever they begin, though, you should try to relax and stay calm, waiting for the contractions to get closer together and more intense.

When contractions are about three to five minutes apart from start to start and lasting one minute each for one hour, you should inform your midwife. At this point, you’ll either make your way to a birthing center or wait for your midwife to arrive, if you’ve planned a home birth.

At that time, he or she will try to keep you calm and comfortable, while walking you through what will take place next.

All You Can Do...

All you can really do at such a late stage in your pregnancy is be educated about what will happen and be prepared to act when it’s time. After all, your body is going to do what it’s going to do.

Yes, you may start labor before your water breaks. Yes, your water could break with contractions starting some hours later. Yes, labor may even need to be induced or encouraged naturally. It all depends on your body. However, one fact remains the same. Your body knows how to give birth...and it will.

But in order to get prepared, one of the best things you can do is attend birthing classes. Not only will you learn about what to expect, but you’ll also be able to have personal questions answered and concerns addressed. Education is the best strategy to reduce your worry or stress, so that when the time comes, you’ll know exactly what to do!

Child Birth Education Classes - Birthing Your Way

Birthing Your Way Blog

By Heather Shelley 27 Feb, 2017

“It's happening! It's finally happening!” Imagine. After many months of waiting and preparing, the day has come. Your water has broken. Most likely, you're a ball of nervous excitement. “What should I do now?” you ask yourself as you try to keep calm.

This doesn't have to be the scenario for you. You don't have to wonder what to do next or what to expect in the coming hours. Why mar the beautiful experience of giving birth with stress and panic?

Instead, you can go into it well-prepared. Cool, calm and collected. In the best position to enjoy the phenomenal experience ahead. How? Continue reading to find out what you should expect and what steps you should take when the big day arrives.


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Birthing Your Way Blog

By Heather Shelley 27 Feb, 2017

“It's happening! It's finally happening!” Imagine. After many months of waiting and preparing, the day has come. Your water has broken. Most likely, you're a ball of nervous excitement. “What should I do now?” you ask yourself as you try to keep calm.

This doesn't have to be the scenario for you. You don't have to wonder what to do next or what to expect in the coming hours. Why mar the beautiful experience of giving birth with stress and panic?

Instead, you can go into it well-prepared. Cool, calm and collected. In the best position to enjoy the phenomenal experience ahead. How? Continue reading to find out what you should expect and what steps you should take when the big day arrives.

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