What we see in the movies with a pregnant woman’s water breaking and then a moment later the baby arrives – is not always the truth. Your water breaking in real life will not necessarily be as dramatic, however waiting for the moment of water gushing down your legs can be a source of anxiety for many mums. Don’t let what you see on TV stress you out. It really helps to have a plan set up before you get to your last trimester, and to know what to do when your water breaks.
What Does Your Water Breaking Feel Like?
Each mum will experience her water breaking differently, with some mums never experiencing it at all. The signs of water breaking do differ, but it often feels like a slow leak or sudden gush of water. Some women feel a small pop, and others feel liquid leaking out in bursts as they change their position.
The way the water comes out is dependent on how the baby is sitting, as their head can often act as a cork. As contractions start, the water might start to come out quicker as well.
The colour of the fluid should be clear or pale yellow, and it should have no smell. It is a good idea to take note of the smell and colour of the fluid, so you can describe it to your medical practitioner when you phone in.
What To Do When Your Water Breaks
When you feel your water breaking, whether it is a sudden gush or a slow leak, the best thing you can do is just to take a deep breath and relax. Becoming stressed and working yourself up will not help you or the baby.
Clean yourself up as best as possible and phone your midwife, your doctor or your nurse. You will have to time your contractions and give them the results, and they will let you know whether or not you need to head to your birthing centre or ride it out for a little longer at home.
Your doctor might suggest that you take a shower after your water has broken, but you should definitely avoid taking a bath. There is a chance that some bacteria might make their way up to your uterus and cause an infection.
Clean yourself up, grab your hospital bag, make sure you have a ride to the hospital (hopefully it happens when your partner is home), and check for last-minute essentials such as your cell phone and charger.
Lay a towel down on the car seat just in case you haven’t finished leaking just yet!
What If My Water Doesn’t Break?
Not every woman experiences her water breaking. Sometimes doctors have to perform an amniotomy, which is an artificial rupture of the memberane. This involves a thin plastic hook being inserted through the cervix to pop the sac of water. This isn’t as scary or horrific as it sounds, and often mums in labour don’t even feel it!
When you feel a trickle-down your legs or you suddenly flood the floor as you stand up, keep calm and relax. Clean yourself up, time your contractions, and get hold of your birthing professional, they will let you know what to do!