When you're pregnant, you may be wondering what it feels like when your water breaks. Water breaking is a sign that labor is starting, but it doesn't always happen that way. In some cases, your water may break before labor starts, or it may not break at all.
What does it feel like when your water breaks?
The sensation of water breaking can vary from woman to woman. Some women describe it as a sudden gush of fluid, while others say it feels more like a trickle. Some women may even feel a popping sensation. The amount of fluid that leaks out can also vary. It can be a small amount or a large amount.
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What causes water to break?
One of the biggest worry about pregnant mothers is the breaking of water. It is crucial to know the signs of water break and what to do if it occurs.
Water breaking is an excellent sign of labor, although it does not always mean that the baby is ready to come out.
Sometimes water can break early due to other causes, and it is vital to be observant and keen when your water breaks. Even though your water has not broken, it differs from the women. They do not experience the same thing.
Here is why and how your water might break and what to do.
What happens when your water breaks?
Breaking of water during pregnancy can also be referred to as rupture of the membranes. About 2.5-3 cups of fluid is emptied when the amniotic sac is rupture, but the flow of liquid cannot be controlled. Some women feel a trickle of pee while others feel like 3 cups of water were dumped on their underwear.
The young baby is usually encircled in a sac known as the amniotic sac, which contains a fluid known as amniotic fluid.
When the baby is about to be born or during pregnancy, the water breaks, and amniotic fluid flows through the vagina. The water breaks because the baby puts more pressure on it.
If your water breaks early, it can be due to other causes that can weaken the amniotic sac, such as infection. Amniotic fluid is depleted if your nutrition is not good or too much water in the womb.
Sometimes water can break when the contraction has started though it cannot be experienced when delivering via C-section.
It is rare when water does not break, and the baby is born enclosed in the amniotic sac. This is called en caul birth.
What causes the breaking of water?
The amniotic sac is a thin membrane that surrounds your baby and cushions them during pregnancy. It's filled with amniotic fluid, which helps to protect your baby from infection and provides them with a comfortable environment to grow.
Your water breaks when the amniotic sac ruptures. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- Infection: An infection in the uterus can weaken the amniotic sac and cause it to rupture.
- Pressure: As your baby grows, they may put pressure on the amniotic sac, causing it to rupture.
- Physical activity: Strenuous physical activity, such as sex or exercise, can also put pressure on the amniotic sac and cause it to rupture.
- Medications: Some medications, such as prostaglandins, can increase the risk of water breaking.
What will happen when your water breaks?
The amniotic sac, which is filled with amniotic fluid, ruptures during the beginning of labor, known as a water break.
When water breaks before labor starts, it is known as premature rupture of membranes.
When the water break, you usually experience a feeling of wetness in your vagina or in your perineum, which is clear or pale yellow fluid.
The water can either gush out or trickle down.
It might feel that you have unknowingly peed your panty because amniotic fluid appears like urine due to the mixing of liquid with the baby's urine.
It might have a small amount of blood which is normal.
Contraction can begin or may become more severe.
How can you be sure your water has broken?
It is more complicated to distinguish between amniotic fluid and urine, especially if you experience a small amount of water.
When you are not sure that the water has broken, head to the hospital for more assistant, the doctor will examine to confirm if it's amniotic fluid leaking or urine.
In some circumstances, an ultrasound will be done to verify the findings. Labor can be induced if you are not in labor because of the membrane rupture early. There are high chances of developing an infection.
How long after your water breaks should you go to the hospital?
If your water breaks, it's important to go to the hospital as soon as possible. This is because your baby is no longer protected by the amniotic sac, and they are at risk of infection.
In most cases, you will be admitted to the hospital and monitored closely. You may be given antibiotics to prevent infection, and you may be induced to labor.
How long after water breaks do you have to deliver?
In most cases, you should deliver your baby within 24 to 48 hours after your water breaks. We physicians like to have the baby delivered under 24 hours after your water breaks because the longer it is the higher risk for infection. That's why we are constantly taking your temperature in L&D.
What happens if your water breaks too early?
If the water breaks before the 37th week of gestation, it is known as the preterm prelabour rupture of the membrane. The following are the risk factors for water breaking too early;
- A history of premature rupture of the membrane in previously pregnancy
- Intra-amniotic infection
- Vaginal discharge of blood in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters
- Using the unprescribed drug during pregnancy
- Malnutrition due to poor feeding can lead to underweight
- Incompetent cervix
The complications which appear include both maternal or fetal infections, placenta separation, and also the umbilical cord problem can happen, there is also a high chance of the baby being born prematurely.
When you are around 34weeks of pregnancy, and you experience water brokerage, induction of labor may be necessary to avoid infection, and if there is no sign of infection, pregnancy is allowed to continue and monitored closely if it happens before 34 weeks, that is 24 to 34 week the mother is given antibiotics to cover for infections and delivery is delayed.
How to clean up after your water breaks?
- Puppy training pads
- Waterproof mattress cover
- Couch cover
- Leave extra towel in your car
What to do when your water breaks? Have a baby!
Water breaking is a common sign that labor is starting. However, it doesn't always happen that way. If your water breaks, it's important to go to the hospital as soon as possible so that your baby can be monitored and protected from infection.