All About Water Breaking

Water breaking is a common term when it comes to pregnancy. Expectant mothers are usually found to be worked up over when will their water break, where will it happen, what it’ll feel like and what to do next. To clear the fog, water breaking refers to the breach of amniotic sac that indicates your baby is now ready to take birth. However, none have been able to decode the chemical chain reaction that triggers labor around the 40ᵗʰ week of pregnancy, but a vague theory from experts say that it could start from the brain signals from the baby.

Water break during pregnancy is a slow trickle of colorless, odorless amniotic fluid. Usually water breaks during pregnancy when the membrane naturally ruptures and you pass into a stage of labor. With the progression of contractions, the baby starts moving towards the birth canal, causing the amniotic sac to break off. In most cases, contractions rupture the sac and you experience a surge of warm water. In case you have an induced labor, your surgeon will falsely break the membrane using an amniotic hook. It doesn’t hurt much but in many cases, it helps to progress the labor. Thus, to help you from irrelevant hassle, there are few signs and symptoms you need to watch out for to prepare yourself for the situation.

Signs and Causes of Water Breaking

1. The Bloody Show:

As delivery nears, you may be prone to losing your mucus plug that caps your cervix, preparing you for upcoming labor. Sometimes you may lose your mucus plug and experience water break at the same time, while sometimes you may lose your mucus plug but the water may not break. But whichever is the case, losing your mucus plug is a hint that your water can break anytime.

2. Recurring Washroom Visits:

With the approach of labor, your body releases prostaglandins which triggers labor. This hormone-like matter may stimulate your bowels, making you a bathroom frequenter. This is a hint that you may pass into early labor and your water may break anytime.

3. Infections:

In most cases, water break happens due to the presence of infections in your cervix, vagina, bladder or kidney. This may pose a danger for you and your baby. So, in case you feel symptoms of back pain, fever, flu or other signs of illness, then seek your practitioner’s help immediately because you may have an infection down there which may cause your water breaking.

4. Cramping:

You may experience stomach tightening just like the way you feel when your monthly cycles approach. Cramping may not be actual contractions, but it may be an indication that your water may break anytime.

5. Hind-Water Breaking:

This does not refer to your actual water breaking, but a small leakage from a hole in the sac behind your fetus’s head. Hind water breakage may feel like a tiny dribble and seal on its own with the resealing of the membrane. This is yet another faint sign that you’re close to your water breaking.

6. A Popping Sound:

Many women have reported hearing a popping sensation. It happens when the sac of fluid breaks around your baby. After that a sudden jet of warm water may flow between your legs.

7. Repeated Contractions:

You may undergo excessive contractions within 12 - 24 hours.

8. Trickling Sensation:

Sometimes you may feel a trickling sensation when liquid trickles out of your vagina. You may mistake it for urine, and in case if you’re confused about the fluid you’re leaking, seek your doctor’s counsel on the same to know the water breaking early signs.

If you’re at home and you notice these signs, you may want to prepare yourself for the next situation. For once your water breaks, you may pass into a stage of labor with frequent contractions. Here comes the question of how long does a pregnancy last after the water breaks?

Typically, it has been told that pregnant ladies must be ready to deliver within 24 hours after the water breaks in order to avoid any infection. This is because the amniotic sac which cushions and protects your baby and its umbilical cord ruptures indicating that it is ready to take birth. Your contractions may follow within 12 to 24 hours and your body will slip into the process of labor preparing to welcome a new life in this world. Sometimes a pregnancy water break occurs before the 37ᵗʰ week (known as preterm PROM) and it is in such a case that your doctor may be able to extend your pregnancy, but in most cases the baby born is a premature one.

However, it is natural to feel a little anxious about the process of labor and so preparing yourself beforehand will save you from last-minute apprehensions. Here are few labor advices and tips for childbirth. In case you’re thinking how long you can stay pregnant after your water breaks, then chop-chop mothers, for the baby is almost en-route! You may also want to stash a bunch of high-absorbency pads in your washroom or purse to stay on the clock.

See Problems? Call The Doctor Right Away

  • When you’re on your 37ᵗʰ week of pregnancy and your water breaks, call the doctor right away to avoid a premature birth.

  • If you observe a green or brown fluid post the water breaks during pregnancy that means you baby has had a bowel movement in the utero.

  • If you notice a loop of umbilical cord at your vaginal opening, call emergency. Seldom when the membrane rupture begins before labor and the child is not yet engaged in the pelvis, the umbilical cord may continue to prolapse. This indicates that the umbilical cord may have been washed into the cervix along with a gush of amniotic fluid.

Pregnancy being a complex process has its share of problems and provisions. To ease the expectant mother from the anxiety of labor and delivery, here are few precautions that will comfort her about the next stage, in case her water breaks at an ill time.

It is usually advised to remain in the hospital for a few days after the water breaks. There you and your baby will be examined for any signs of infection. This will include a regular monitoring of your temperature, pulse and blood pressure along with blood tests to check for any infection. Besides, your little one’s heart rate will also be monitored on a usual basis. In some cases, your doctor will work together with you to chalk out a plan for your ongoing pregnancy. However, one vital factor that must be kept in check is the constant refueling of emotional support during and after the baby’s birth. You must be strong and mentally prepared to face any situation during pregnancy and this guide above is just made for you mothers to gear up for impact. While you take care of the symptoms and follow precautions, leave the other half on your healthcare professionals to watch out for your baby and its birth process.