Pregnancy comes with a whole world of questions and concerns. Many of them revolve around labor and the things that will happen as you get closer to having your baby. With many different stories out there the question can be asked, “How will I know when my water breaks?”
“Water Breaks” What Does It Mean
Most of us know that water doesn’t break, however this is a term consistently used to describe the breaking of the membranes that protect a baby while it is in his or her mom during pregnancy. The term water breaking is used because once these membranes have broken the amniotic fluid that fills the uterus begins to drain often causing a wet mess.
My story is a little unique. I had spent the night in the hospital with contractions. The doctors decided it wasn’t real labor and then sent me home with a sleeping pill. They said that I would go to sleep and when I woke up the contractions would probably be gone. I took the pill, jumped in the shower, and then sat down to go to the bathroom. It was then that it felt like I was squirting. This was my water. I got up and went to wake my husband up and while talking to him I felt more of the “water” splash down my legs. Then I went to the living room to talk to my sisters-in-law and had more splash down my legs. For more on my story visit: The Mommy N Baby Page.
Common Signs of Water Breaking
Most women won’t have their water break until after they have started having contractions and are part way into labor. However, 13-20% of women will have their water break before they start having contractions.
Gushing is one common sign of water breaking. This isn’t always the case, but it often is.
Large amounts of fluid trickling from the vaginal area.
Very wet panties upon waking up.
You are wetting a pad consistantly and don’t think that it is urine.
What If I Don’t Know?
Not every woman knows right away. If you aren’t in labor or you have problems with a leaking bladder it becomes harder to recognize the signs of your water breaking. First, don’t feel odd if you think you might have broken your water, but you aren’t sure. Instead, go to a bathroom and check your underwear. If you can, change your underwear or add a pad. Then go home and lay down for about a half an hour. During that time try to relax. After about half an hour get up and go to the bathroom. If your underwear or pad is wet again then check its color. Is it dark or clear (or almost clear)? If it is clear it is probably amniotic fluid. Urine usually has a color. Smell it. If it smells like bleach it is probably amniotic fluid, but if it smells like urine it is probably urine. If you still don’t know then give your doctor a call. He or she will either have you come into the office for a test or send you to the hospital.
My Water Broke-Now What?
If you are 36 weeks or less pregnant then call your doctor right away. Your water breaking could mean that you are going into early labor and your doctor will need to give you instructions.
If you are 37 weeks or more than you are full term and most likely going to have a baby. You should go to the hospital delivery center (called different things in different hospitals). They will give you an exam, check your progress, and take care of your needs.
If you are in active labor and feel like you are having a bowel movement or that there is a lot of pressure between your legs you should call 911 as the baby could be coming faster than you have time to get to the hospital.
You shouldn’t drive while having painful contractions, either have someone drive you or call for an ambulance.
Laugh and Learn About Childbirth
Pregnancy brings with it a lot of questions about the changes that are going on in your body. However, it also brings a lot of questions about giving birth and the events associated with those final hours before the baby arrives. Take a humorous moment to learn what you need to know!
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Remember Not to Worry
There are plenty of things that cause a pregnant mom to worry, especially first time moms. However, try to keep the worrying to a minimum. Your water will most likely break after you have started labor and are either getting ready to go to the hospital or are at the hospital!
The Mommy N Baby Page
Pregnancy at About.com