Water Broke... What now?
Updated: Mar 12, 2019
Wonder what to do when your water breaks and you aren't having contractions that follow the 411 rule? You have options!
#1 Keep doing what you were doing!
Water breaking before labor starts (and after 37 weeks gestation), or the technical term is PROM "Premature Rupture of Membranes" is usually a sign that your labor will start soon. Infact, according to our friends at Evidence Based Birth, the most recent study shows that 76% of mothers will naturally start labor within 24 hours and 90% will start within 48 hours. (https://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-inducing-labor-water-breaks-term/)
Should I Be Cautious?
There are several things you should do if you water breaks before labor starts.
#1 Don't put anything in the vaginal canal
#2 If there is any blood or colored fluid, let your provider know
#3 If its the middle of the night, fluid is clear - go back to bed- then call your provider in the morning
#4 Watch for fever or any signs of infection and let your provider know about any concerns or questions
#5 Walk, go to work, finish any last minute projects and take any labor inducing herbs your provider may suggest
#5 Enjoy your last days or few hours
A Personal Experience
I've had only one client, a first time mom, who did NOT start labor on the first day, or second, or third..... and finally started labor at the end of the fourth day! Then had her baby in 2 hours and 45 mins from the first contractions to the birth!
What an experience. Typical protocol (of even my trusted midwife colleagues) is to start antibiotics at 24 hours and at the latest 48 hours. My client opted to use natural antibiotics, and I wholeheartedly supported her decision. She used whole food nutritional supplements, essential oils and herbs to boost her immune system in hopes of keeping any infection at bay. And it seemed to work. We were still within the evidence based "watchful waiting" 48 hour time period, and used herbs, castor oil and fear releasing work to urge labor to start. And finally something work! Her body kicked in gear at full speed and she birthed a healthy, bright-eyed baby boy! Grateful for strong parents who trust the birth process.