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What Does My Water Breaking Mean? Amniotic Fluid, Labor Begins

You probably have heard the phrase “my water just broke” in TV series and movies numerous times, just as when a character is about to go into labor. What exactly does breaking water mean in pregnancy? What can one expect when this happens?
First let us explain what is meant by “water”. The water being referred to is the amniotic fluid which surrounds and cushions the baby inside the womb. This fluid is contained within a membrane called the amniotic sac, more commonly known as water bag. This bag is important because it allows your baby to move around in your uterus and it also protects your unborn child from possible infections.

This water bag breaks before labor or during the first part of labor. When the bag ruptures, the woman will usually feel a trickle of clear, white watery fluid which is similar to urine. This can come out in trickles or in some cases, in a gush. It is sometimes hard to tell whether your bag has already broken or if you are just leaking urine. To be sure, if you suspect that it might be your water bag, go to your health care provider and have them confirm if your bag has broken or not. This is important because having your water break means that you should already be heading to the hospital when labor starts.

In rare cases, the bag can break many days before labor actually begins, or a woman may already be in labor and the bag still has not broken. In the case of the latter, a painless procedure called amnoitomy is done to rupture the bag manually. This procedure is also usually done to induce labor in women.

When that water breaks though, most women will go into labor within a period of 48 hours. After the water breaks, women are advised to avoid infection by preventing anything from coming into contact with the vagina (needless to say sex is discouraged). They are also advised to take lots of fluids such as juice or water every hour. Should they wish to do so, they can take a shower or a soak in the tub. They should also watch out for signs of fever or a change in the baby’s movements, if there are any changes, women should contact their health care provider right away. The best thing to do during this waiting time would be to rest.

It is not only important for you to know what the water breaking means and what you should do in this event, it is also important to let your partner, family members or house mates know what to do in this instance. It is always helpful to have a drill when this occurs, so that things can go smoothly between your water bag breaking and you giving birth.