How To Tell If Your Water Actually Broke
Hey mama, I know you are preparing for labor and delivery and you want to know as much as you can so you know what to expect and what it feels like when your water breaks.
First, right off the bat, you need to know that many times your water will not break randomly at home or in a store like you see in movies. It will most likely happen while you are giving birth and broken by your doctor.
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What Is Considered ‘My Waters’?
When someone says their water broke or that they think their water is breaking they are talking about the amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac. Your sac rupturing will result in ‘water’ (really amniotic fluid) leaking out.
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What Does It Feel Like When My Water Breaks?
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Unlike the movies you won’t slip and fall on your water when it breaks. It feels more like a trickle and a combination of your period starting. Because it is a new sensation that many expecting moms haven’t felt before the brain compares it to what it already knows.
Your brain knows what its like to pee yourself and it knows what its like when you start your period. But you will know (or at least think you know) when your water breaks.
Your amniotic fluid is also colorless and odorless. So if you see yellow and it smells like urine it is pee.
How To Tell If Your Water Broke Or If It’s Pee
One way to find out if you went pee or if it was indeed your water breaking is to do a small simple test.
First you want to take off your panties and perform the smell test? Does it have an odor? Does it smell like urine – then it is pee. If it is odorless or smells like a dash of bleach it could be your amniotic fluid.
The second thing to do is to see if you are still leaking water. If you feel like it is still trickling out – then it is your water breaking.
The third item you want to figure out is if you heard a ‘pop’ sound.
How To Know If Your Water Is Leaking?
You may be wondering if your water broke early on? If you see constant odorless fluid leaking out and dampining your underwear then yes it could be your water breaking.
Some first time moms will have discharge and wonder if it is their mucus plug or their water breaking. Discharge is pretty common and can look brownish, pinkish, or yellowish tint with a smell.
Remember amniotic fluid is clear (sometimes a straw color) and odorless.
Can Your Water Slowly Break?
Short answer yes it can. If you think about your amniotic sac as being a balloon and a small needle rupturing the sac you can see that a small amount of water will leak out over time.
If you think you are leaking water before you are 37 weeks along make sure to tell your OB or midwife and they will be able to check if you water is leaking by performing an ultrasound and looking at your amniotic sac.
Does It Hurt When My Water Breaks?
Another common question we get. No, it should not hurt when your water breaks. It should feel like a gush or trickle of water.
What To Do If You Think Your Water Broke?
Here are five things you want to do to make sure it is your water that broke and what you need to do after.
- Change out of your wet underwear and put on dry ones
- Put on a pad or panty liner
- Go lay down for 20- 30 minutes – time any contractions if you feel them
- After the 20-30 minute mark – stand up
- If you feel a pool of water or a continuous trickle it is your amniotic fluid
- If it is dry – it was more than likely pee
- If it is amniotic fluid – call your doctor to see what your next steps should be
- Pack your hospital bag if you haven’t already – as you might go in to give birth.
How Much Time Do I Have After My Water Breaks To Go Into Labor?
For each pregnant mother the time it takes to go into labor after your water breaks depends on you. (I know, very practical).
It could take anywhere from an hour to 24 hours after your water breaks to feel your first contraction and go into active labor.
Take a Prenatal Course taught by an actual labor and delivery nurse to get all your questions answered.
What If My Water Breaks And I Don’t Go Into Labor?
If your water breaks and you do not go into labor and you are 37 weeks or more – your doctor may start an induction to have your body start the laboring process.
The reason they may do this is because if your water breaks and 24 hours passes – you may get an infection and so will baby.
In order to avoid anything harming mom and baby – a doctor will induce the mother to be to avoid infections.
How Does A Nurse / Midwife Check If My Water Has Broken?
If you have a midwife and give her a call that your water has broken. She may perform a swab test. She will swab your vagina to get the fluid on the swab and if it changes color it is amniotic fluid.
If you go to the hospital and your nurse is going to check if your water has broken – they may do the swab test or they may do an ultrasound to make sure baby has enough fluid to move around it and to check where the rupture has happened in the sac.
Why Would My Doctor Need To Break My Water?
It is estimated that around 10-12 percent of all pregnant mothers will have their water break on their own. That means for the other 90% they will have their water artificially ruptured.
Here are a few reasons whey your doctor may suggest to break your water:
- Your dilation has come to a stand still – to progress labor they will break your water
- The baby may be in distress and they need to get a fetal monitor reading
How Does My Doctor Artificially Break My Water?
This should only be done by a doctor and should not be attempted by anyone else.
Your doctor will insert an amniotic hook (looks like a little crocheting needle) into the vagina and rupture the amniotic sac. It should be a painless procedure.
In conclusion, your water may not break on its own but it is always helpful to know what to look for if you believe that your water did indeed break.
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What Does It Feel Like When My Water Breaks?
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