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.