Is my water broken is something every pregnant women probably asks themselves a few times
It seems like it wouldn’t be that hard — IS my water broken?
Water gushes out of your nether-regions. It’s obviously broken… right?
This post was originally published in March 2014, and was updated in August 2017
Hilary is a nurse who has worked in various medical fields for the past 14 years, however, none of the information on this blog, should be substituted for the care of a physician. The information provided on this blog is informational only and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. If you have questions, please ask your doctor. If you think you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, please call 911. Also, please don’t delay contacting a physician due to something you have read on here. Pulling Curls doesn’t take responsibility for your health. That’s your job. We’re just a nice read.
Well, you’ve never been in labor then, because there is a whole lot that happens “downtown” at that point. A lot of people ask themselves, “Is My Water Broken?”
Especially as you get into the “overdue” category — lots of change in discharge towards the end.
You might wonder how I know so much about broken water — and that’s because I have been an L&D nurse for the last 16 years. Don’t miss my page “Am I In Labor” where you’ll learn lots about labor and what to watch for!
So, without further adieu, here’s a few things to consider before knowing if your water is broken:
1. Amniotic fluid is WATERY, it’s not thick and it isn’t normally bloody (but can have streaks of blood, that’s normal). If you do gush blood, you need to get yourself to the hospital, and if it’s a LOT you need to call 911, but amniotic fluid smells kind of like a public pool. A little chlorine-y, and a little bit like pee (because amniotic fluid is made mostly of baby pee).
2, You may get a gush, you may get a trickle. Depending on where your water broke on the “sac” it will gush or trickle. It is likely to dump more when you move, or when you go from sitting to standing.
3. It will continue to come out. If you get a gush, and then absolutely nothing, you can probably thank your bladder. Let’s all do some Keagels together, GO. 🙂 I’ve heard of people who had a “dry birth” and I’m not sure what that is. It does keep coming out, it’s baby pee. Changed a diaper lately? Yes, it keeps coming.
4. The hospital does have a definitive test. It’s called Amnisure (other hospitals may use Ferning, and some may use Nitrazine paper as an initial test). It isn’t something you want to wait and wait to decide if it’s broken, but you can certainly wait a couple of hours. Maybe shower, put on a pad and see if it’s still coming out.
5. Once your water breaks, contractions usually start in the next few hours. If you’re heading to 12 hours without contractions you can expect that your doctor is going to want to start you on some pitocin (the other induction agents are limited once your water is broken). There is a chance of infection now that barrier is broken. They’ll take your temperature frequently (enough to drive your nurse insane). An infection is the main concern if your fluid is broken for a long time. They also may start you on antibiotics after it’s been a while.
6. If anything comes into your “va-jay-jay” besides water from your uterus (or just your basic discharge — I’m talking about a THING), you need to get your butt in the air (hands and knees with your face in the floor) and call 911. The cord can slip out when your water breaks and this can have serious consequences. Don’t take a shower, don’t have dinner. Call 911. The end.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. As always, call your doctor if you can’t figure it out. If they can’t figure it out over the phone, they’ll probably have you go into labor and delivery.
If you know your water’s broken (and it’s often fairly obvious) check coat:
C — Color (is it clear or green?)
O — Odor (does it smell funny?)
A — Amount (giant gush or a small trickle)
T — Time (what time did it break, remember the clock starts going after your water is broken)
And, when in doubt — call your doctor or head into L&D.
If you have more questions about labor and delivery — check out my online prenatal class! You can also sign up for a free beginning class here:
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And don’t forget that post all about labor:
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