I’m sure you’ve seen Hollywood movies that show women’s water breaking before labor and the ensuing chaos that happens after. Often times they’ll show distressed partners rushing to the hospital and the woman panting like the baby is about to fall out!

However, the truth is, it’s quite rare for this to happen. When it does happen, it doesn’t mean that labor will start right away.

If you’re pregnant, it’s important to understand what to expect and what you need to do in case your water breaks before labor.

What Happens When Your Water Breaks?

You might feel a sudden gush or a slow leak when your water breaks. Some women have even reported hearing a loud pop. The amount of fluid released can vary because the position of the baby’s head can sometimes prevent the release of a lot of fluid.

It’s important to take note of the following details:

  1. The time it happened. A longer time between the water breaking and the start of labor can increase the risk of infection.
  2. The color of the fluid. If the fluid is brown or green-tinged, it could mean that the baby has passed meconium (the first bowel movement), and your doctor will need to keep a closer eye on you. Clear or pink fluid is considered normal.
  3. The smell, if any. A foul odor can be a sign of an infection.
  4. The amount of fluid. Your doctor will want to know the details.
  5. Whether there was any blood.

How Can You Tell If It’s Your Amniotic Fluid?

It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether you’ve just peed or if your water has actually broken. It’s always best to go to the hospital where tests can be performed to confirm whether your water has broken or not.

If labor doesn’t start on its own, you may need to discuss induction with your doctor. This is because a prolonged time between the water breaking and the start of labor increases the risk of infection. However, it’s often safe to wait a bit before induction, so be sure to discuss this option with your doctor.

In conclusion, it’s important to understand what to expect in case your water breaks before labor. Make sure you take note of the time, color, smell, amount, and whether there was any blood, and visit the hospital to confirm whether it was your amniotic fluid or not. Don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns or questions with your doctor.

Have you experienced your water breaking before labor? Share your experience with us in the comments!

About the Author

Hanna is passionate nurse and mama of four babies. Parenthood can be hard, but you don't have to do it alone. Hanna is here for you from pregnancy, to birth and beyond!

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