What to Expect When Your Water Breaks

Your water breaks. What do you do now? It's not always as dramatic as the movies make it out to be, but you should still be prepared. What can your amniotic fluid tell you about your baby? Why are babies usually delivered shortly after a mother's water breaks? And what does T.A.C.O. have to do with it?

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Episode Transcript

Preggie Pals
What to Expect When Your Water Breaks


Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

STEPHANIE GLOVER: We’ve all seen it in the movies. A pregnant woman’s water dramatically breaks while walking down the street and active labor immediately follows. But how common is that? What can a pregnant woman really expect when her water breaks? I’m Stephanie Glover, child birth educator and today we’re discussing what to expect when your water breaks. This is Preggie Pals.

[Theme Music/Intro]

SUNNY GAULT: Welcome to Preggie Pals, broadcasting from the birth education center of San Diego. Preggie Pals is your online on the go support group for expecting parents and those hoping to become pregnant. I am your fill in host for today’s episode, this is Sunny and I want to thank you guys, all the loyal listeners we have out there who’ve joined the Preggie Pals club.

Our members get special episodes, bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. You can see our website for more information. We do have a new website if you go to preggiepals.com it’s just going to forward you over to newmommymedia.com. We decided to put all of our content on one location for you so that’s newmommymedia.com for all that great stuff.

Another way for you guys to stay connected is by downloading our free Preggie Pals app. It’s available in the Android, iTunes and Windows market place. So if you’re not here in the studio with us you can still participate as a virtual panelist. We love this program. We love chatting with you guys week after week. Like our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter using #preggiepalsvp.

We’re going to be twitting some stuff out today as we are recording our show. We’re going to be asking you guys questions. You guys can ask us questions as we talk about what to expect when your water breaks. So again #preggiepalsvp and if you do participate then you can possibly win some prices. So that’s always fun. The reason I am taking over hosting responsibilities today you guys heard Stephanie of the top that’s because she’s our expert. I don’t know if you guys know but our new host Stephanie is also a child birth educator and so we’re going to go around the room.

We’re going to share who’s all in the studio here today. I’m going to start with Stephanie since I was just talking about her. So, Stephanie tell us a little bit about yourself.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Great thank you Sunny. I’m Stephanie Glover. I’m 32 years old. I’m the host of Preggie Pals as well as a stay at home mom to two little girls. Gretchen is my almost 3 year old who’s born via caesarean and Lydia is my 11 month old who I’d VBAC last august.

SUNNY GAULT: Wonderful.

ABBY LACEY: Hi, I’m Abby Lacey. I am a prenatal massage therapist and labor doula. I’m also the founder of the doula initiative here in San Diego.

SUNNY GAULT: I love it.


SUNNY GAULT: Welcome to the show. It’s the first time we’ve had you on.

ABBY LACEY: Well thanks for having me.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah of course.

ABBY LACEY: I’m 36 and I don’t have any children yet. I’m being kind of picky about who their daddy is going to be.

SUNNY GAULT: Oh how dare you. Oh that’s awesome. Annie…

ANNIE LAIRD: I’m Annie. I’m 36. I’m a labor doula. I’m actually Abbey’s backup and she is my backup at least until I move to Bahrain. I was the former host of Preggie Pals so we have three…


ANNIE LAIRD: Two former hosts and one current host here.


ANNIE LAIRD: I have three children all little girls, a 9 year old, a 2 year old and an almost 1, 8 month old, almost 1. So and they were three vaginal births, two of them in the hospital, one was a home birth.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay and I have four children. I have my oldest is just about ready to turn 4. My middle guy is 2 and then I’ve got identical twin girls who are 8 months old. So we’re all busy mommas here. I know Abbey you’ll be busy momma someday but you’re busy with other people’s babies and stuff…

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah exactly.

SUNNY GAULT: So you’re still part of our awesome mommy community. Okay well ladies thank you for joining us today.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Okay so before we get going today we’re going to talk about a funny or interesting headline that’s kind of making rounds on the internet related… actually Stephanie is going to go ahead and tell us a little bit more about it so take it away.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Yeah. So the headline essentially reads when Troy and pregnant wife Crista went into labor the middle of the night, they’ve began to head to the hospital in Texas and he the husband was wearing a go pro camera the entire time so it documents the trip to the hospital and then the birth which is was just outside of the hospital.

ANNIE LAIRD: I didn’t know what a go pro was until someone explained like that’s like…

STEPHANIE GLOVER: He wears it on his head and…

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah I didn’t.

SUNNY GAULT: I didn’t know until about a month ago.


SUNNY GAULT: And my husband looked at me like I was crazy.

ABBY LACEY: Right the go pro craze is just out of control.

SUNNY GAULT: Why do I have stock in this. Yeah.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: And so essentially it’s the video if you’ve watched it’s like Sunny said it’s making out later on social media.

ANNIE LAIRD: It’s a forehead cam.



STEPHANIE GLOVER: And so we’re seeing the husband driving about 95 miles an hour I think the whole time to the hospital.

ANNIE LAIRD: That’s safe yeah.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: It makes me a little nauseous personally.

ANNIE LAIRD: Good thing it was middle of the night.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Yes because I think he’s running on red lights in the video too if you see like once they get off the freeway I think. I think that’s what it was showing. And then ultimately so the woman, the mom in labor is a child birth educator at the hospital that they end up pulling up to and she ends up delivering essentially they’re asking her to you know, take off her pants, I can’t. They say don’t push, she couldn’t and ends up delivering this baby right outside the hospital.



SUNNY GAULT: She kept saying he’s coming, he’s coming….



SUNNY GAULT: Then like the husband didn’t believe it I’m like why is this guy not…

ANNIE LAIRD: No he pulled up to the hospital. He gets out of the car, he goes to get the bags out of the back seat…

SUNNY GAULT: And he takes forever doing it too.




ABBY LACEY: Well you know I think that’s another good reason to hire a doula right. Ding ding ding we have a winner.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah well I mean I could speak because with my second birth, it was you know, it was a precipitous birth. It was like 14 hours start to finish but when the decision was made that I needed to go to the hospital I need to transfer from my home birth to the hospital, it was quick. And so you know my nanny thank God she was the one driving and then me and my husband who’s like 6’3 and I’m not you know, I’m not you know small either you know so we’re on the back seat of our Kia. You know so you know watching this, I think that’s what made me feel so uncomfortable I was like oh my gosh this is just like my… that the car has to be the most uncomfortable place to labor.


ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah. Well did you have Sunny when your water broke, when Ainsley broke your water, did you experience labor in the car or was it more with…

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah I did.


SUNNY GAULT: I did. It was pretty subdued.


SUNNY GAULT: But yeah I started…

ANNIE LAIRD: Once you go to the hospital…

SUNNY GAULT: Contraction yeah I started feeling contractions…


SUNNY GAULT: Even before we left the house and we were just so unprepared.


SUNNY GAULT: I mean again this was a situation and Annie was referring to my twins were baby A broke water, broke my water you know and then I had two different bags so they were not together so two different bag, same placenta and we were not prepared. We weren’t supposed to have our caesarean but anyways yeah so it was one of those crazy things were I did experience labor in the car. Of course yeah I have other kids I got to drop off my kids at friend’s house.


SUNNY GAULT: First of all I’m calling people on the phone going I’m in labor can you take my kids?


SUNNY GAULT: You know I don’t have any other family in town so it’s totally crazy and yeah total car labor not fun especially I’m sure a 10 cm. I was only like 2 or 3 by the time I get to the hospital.


SUNNY GAULT: Can’t imagine what’s that like.


STEPHANIE GLOVER: Yeah and then having to sit down while a head is coming out on the wheel chair like…

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah well they kept push telling her to not push, they kept yelling at her to sit down. Sit down, sit down, just sit down. No there’s a head... before the head…

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah I wonder how would they be sitting on your baby.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah. The head was out by that point. You know and I think the thing that cracks me up the whole thing is she’s gives this blood curling scream, the head is out and then like 2 minutes later, she’s like you know don’t let my baby drop, don’t let my baby drop.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah catch my baby.

ANNIE LAIRD: Exactly and then so the dad lifts her skirt and goes, “the head’s out!”. No thank you thank you captain happy ass. You know your wife just screamed to everybody in two counties over 3 minutes ago you know.

SUNNY GAULT: I know that’s crazy but if you guys haven’t check out this video yet I would highly recommend it. It’s very interesting. There’s a censored part so you’re not going to see stuff that you shouldn’t see or…

ANNIE LAIRD: They censored out the best part.



ABBY LACEY: I was so disappointed.

SUNNY GAULT: We have a room full of doulas and child birth educators here. Okay so check out the video if you haven’t already.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Today we are learning all about what to expect when you’re water breaks. Joining us here in the studio is Stephanie Glover. Of course she is the host of Preggie Pals. I’m just kind of filling in. She is a child birth educator as well which makes her completely qualified to talk about this. Welcome to Preggie, I feel funny. Welcome to Preggie Pals Stephanie.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Thank you for having me.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah since we’ve never had you before. Okay so first of all let’s just dive into this. What exactly is this water we speak of, what is it?

STEPHANIE GLOVER: So the water is the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby in utero. The water can or acts like a cushion for baby. It helps regulate baby’s temperature and provides the medium for baby to move around.

SUNNY GAULT: And we all have different amounts of water in there as far as how much cushion we have in our pregnancy?

STEPHANIE GLOVER: It can vary woman to woman.



SUNNY GAULT: Okay and then so what does it mean when your water actually breaks? You know we care about tall this stuff and you know the movies show like it’s very dramatic right and I know that’s it’s rarely very dramatic for women so…

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Right. Yeah. So when your water breaks you essentially have membranes that separate your blood flow from the baby like your blood stream from the baby and that is encompassing the amniotic fluid and the foetus and when that membrane is ruptured that’s what it means by water breaking.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay and I know it’s going to vary woman to woman but when does this typically happen? Does this trigger labor and delivery? Is it a sign of labor and delivery?

STEPHANIE GLOVER: So usually your water breaks when labor is already in progress. I believe it’s about 10% of water breaking occurs before labor begins.


STEPHANIE GLOVER: But typically it actually happens when some labor has already begun.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay and then what does it feel? I guess we should be talking to everyone here in the studio that’s had a baby. So in your experience I guess because again all women are different, what it feel like when, I guess I should back up so did yours break on its own? Did they break your water?

STEPHANIE GLOVER: I with my first it was a C-section but I was in spontaneous labour but they did break my water at 5 cm.


STEPHANIE GLOVER: And it felt just like warm liquid gushing…

SUNNY GAULT: Oozing. Did it break like boom? Did you feel a big gush or is it oozing?

STEPHANIE GLOVER: It was a big gush when they broke it but I didn’t hear like the pop that some women hear because they just use a tool to break it for me in the hospital but with my second I had a slow trickle which so it broke on its own but was just slowly with slight movements with sort of slowly trickle out of me.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. Okay and then Abby as a doula what have you seen when it comes to water breaking.

ABBY LACEY: Oh gosh I’ve seen pretty much all of it. Most women describe what you guys have said that it it’s kind of like an oozing or a slow trickle of fluids. Some women are confused and not sure if it’s actually urine or not certain if their water has broken or not and in fact there are test that your providers can do to verify whether or not it is amniotic fluid but I’ve only actually ever heard the pop once with a client and otherwise I’m you know I’ve had women with their water breaking either you know from very early on before labor ever starts all the way to breaking right before the baby is born.

SUNNY GAULT: Really. Wow.

ABBY LACEY: Yeah. One of my absolute favourite burst that I’ve attended with a first time mom and she was labouring beautifully at home, relaxing in the tub and it turned out that she had this really large what’s called a fore bag which is a bag of amniotic fluid ahead of the baby’s head which was putting pressure on her cervix but it was emerging ahead of the baby’s head as well and that didn’t break until right before the baby was born.

SUNNY GAULT: I’ve never heard of that. I always thought it was kind of the onset of the labor. This is one of the first sign. Sometimes they have to break them most of the time I guess they have to break it but it’s never have pictured it like before the baby comes out.

ABBY LACEY: Yeah and in fact it’s actually there are some babies that the water never breaks and it’s called being born in the cull where the amniotic sac is entirely intact around the baby and yeah you should go cool. Amazing pictures on the internet of babies born in the cull and it’s actually believed I want to say it was a Native American belief that babies born in the cull have mystical powers. They’re children of the earth and that they help the community to, they bridge that earthly and spiritual plane.

SUNNY GAULT: This reminds me of cats. Have you guys ever seen cats being born and how they come out like in their own little bags? I don’t know if it’s the exact same thing but I’ve seen this is the one I’m equating it to how cats are born. My gosh I never really knew of I mean in your in a hospital environment though, I’m assuming this where like home births or something because if you’re in a hospital environment aren’t they breaking it? They’re breaking it before that were to happen.

ABBY LACEY: You know I think that if you have a strong opinion about not having them perform in AROM, A R O M which is an artificial rupture of your membrane that you know if you were insisting on not having them rupture your membranes you could probably have a cull birth at home but the ones that are primarily documented are I’m sorry you can probably have a cull birth in the hospital but most of the ones that we see or that are discussed are home births. And if fact if you watch “Called the Midwife” on PBS they covered a cull birth in the storyline in this most recent season.



SUNNY GAULT: Gosh this is like totally fascinating to me.


SUNNY GAULT: Then okay so if they are born that if babies are born that way then at what point do you break it then? I mean it doesn’t the baby doesn’t stay in that cull environment for that long did they?

ANNIE LAIRD: Let’s say it’s after the birth.


ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah because babies don’t start breathing air until…

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Until they hit oxygen.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah exactly. So yeah after the birth then they would break the bag.

SUNNY GAULT: The immediately though. . . I don’t think…



STEPHANIE GLOVER: Typically I mean it depends the most of the videos that we see of it are from water births.


STEPHANIE GLOVER: They capture it very well and then when the baby is surfaced they break the cull…


STEPHANIE GLOVER: So that the baby the air can hit the baby’s face and they can take that first breath.


ANNIE LAIRD: Another thing I’ve heard with cull babies and this is you know you’ve heard the Native American but that very often that it would be ideal if like having boys of like sailor sailing ships, they would want a cabin boy or a you know a child who had been born in the cull or if there was a sailor in the crew that had been born in cull they would have the cull dried and carry it with them and as long as that sailor was on board as part of the crew, he the belief was that he could not drown.





ANNIE LAIRD: They want a child or a young member of the crew that was born in cull. You know you have to have the cull to prove it…


ANNIE LAIRD: You know you could say oh yeah I was born in the cull you know but that ship would sink then and so then by him being in the crew with it you know since he can’t drown…

SUNNY GAULT: Then there no one else can drown.

ANNIE LAIRD: Exactly yeah.

ABBY LACEY: And they turn it they sew it into a purse.



ABBY LACEY: It’s called the mermaid’s purse it’s what it’s called.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay I’m fascinated. Wow. Okay so let’s back up because we were talking about you know how do we tell if it’s water breaking or if it’s you know urine or something because there’s a lot happening with your body when you’re in labor. And I can tell you from my personal experience my first baby my vaginal birth they have to break my water in the hospital. Obviously no waters were broken like for C-section stuff. That’s totally different procedures so that was my second baby. For my twins, scheduled C-section but they’ve decided to come.

Baby A broke her water 3 weeks before my scheduled C-section so they ended up being 35 weekers. So for me I’ve only experienced my water breaking on one of my pregnancies and it happen to be after a while I was in the shower which makes it really confusing. So here I am in the shower taking a shower and I feel this warm water and everything is great and then I get out and I’m just like okay where is this extra warm water coming from? And then again not having that experience and knowing a lot of women don’t necessarily experience the water break because I had no signs of being in labor prior to that.

That was my first queue and certainly wasn’t expecting it. And that was one of my first questions when I called into labor in triage was I think I’m either peeing myself or there’s you know a leakage here of you know my amniotic fluid. And then they said come in and we’ll check you [inaudible] are going to mess around.

ANNIE LAIRD: Well something that I was thought as a doula that I always tell my clients is TACO and then there’s different ways you can you know rearrange those letters…


ANNIE LAIRD: That I like COACH yes the other one but I like food and Mexican food. Well I like Tacos.

ABBY LACEY: Where in southern California. You can call it COACH.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah I’m from southern California we call it TACO. So you know I tell my clients if you think that your water is broken, TACO. What are the four things you should be looking for? T, what time did the water break? A, what was the amount that came out? Was it a couple of drops? Was it a cup? You know we don’t need to bringing out the measuring cup from the kitchen but just a rough estimate of how much fluid came out of your vagina? C, what was the color? Was it clear? Was it brownish? Was it greenish?

ABBY LACEY: Was it a pee soup?

ANNIE LAIRD: Was it a pee soup? That’s bad.

SUNNY GAULT: Eeeww! That sounds scary.

ANNIE LAIRD: That is bad. Yes and then O, what is the odour? What does it smell like? Some women describe it as either odourless…


ANNIE LAIRD: Or sweet.

ABBY LACEY: Wet hay.



ABBY LACEY: It can smell like wet hay.

SUNNY GAULT: See I smell nothing. It was clear…


SUNNY GAULT: What was the time, the time of it just felt like…?

ANNIE LAIRD: The time and the amount.

SUNNY GAULT: A constant trickle.


SUNNY GAULT: And the amount would just kept happening so . . .

ANNIE LAIRD: You know and what happens a lot too is that the baby’s head actually was like a cork on the cervix and so that’s what’s the slow trickle is but you don’t feel like there’s a huge gush. Well it’s baby’s head that’s in the way. But baby throughout the how often Stephanie you would know how often this though amniotic fluid replace?


ANNIE LAIRD: I mean it’s every few hours.



ANNIE LAIRD: Like 4 hours?


ABBY LACEY: Yeah the body continues to make amniotic fluid…


ABBY LACEY: Throughout…

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Like it won’t empty imminently.

ABBY LACEY: Exactly.

ANNIE LAIRD: So yeah just because the water breaks, the baby is going to keep making amniotic fluid. So…


ANNIE LAIRD: It was just going to be keeping trickling out until the baby comes up.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay. And now what can amniotic fluid and this is a question for Stephanie, what can that tell us about foetal distress?

STEPHANIE GLOVER: So like what they were saying about the colouring and we want to see clear amniotic fluid. That’s a good indication that everything’s… So if the fluid is green or brown, it indicates the presence of meconium which is the first bowel movement and this can happen during the oxygen being depleted during contractions and when it’s low the intestines could cramp and it sends oxygen to kind of the more important areas of the body. So it’s going to send oxygen to baby’s brain and other important you know functions of the organs and in turn during the compression on their intestines the baby will release that bowel movement and it can go into the water and then in turn the water will change color. So it can be indicative of…

SUNNY GAULT: Okay when we come back we’re going to discuss the effects of water breaking and how that impacts your labor and delivery. So we’ll be….

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Hey everyone welcome back to Preggie Pals. Today we are discussing what to expect when your water breaks and our host of the show Stephanie Glover is also our expert today so I’m going to I’m filling in for you guys. I’m your host right now. So question, so what are some of the do’s and don’ts if your water is broken? What should you do? What should you not do? Well I say first of all really have a discussion with your care provider even in advance before you get to this point in your prenatal care to understand what it is that they expect you to do. You know they may have some concerns about your pregnancy that they would want you to either come in right away or they might just want to phone call. And so if you’re under the suspicion that your water has broken, you’re going to want to provide TACO to your care provider.

ANNIE LAIRD: All doctors love TACOs.

SUNNY GAULT: Maybe some salsa on the side.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: So you know your water is breaking like Annie mentioned noting the time, noting the amount, the color and the odour. And really things that you don’t want to do when your membranes have ruptured your baby’s little safe sac that they’re living in for the pregnancy is sort of susceptible now to infection. So you don’t want to be inserting anything into the vagina that’s unnecessary so keep fingers out, tampons just anything, anything just keep it out. In fact many care providers will even not perform cervical checks and vaginal exams as often as if membranes have already ruptured.

SUNNY GAULT: And is that the same as saying your water broke is that your membranes are ruptured? That’s one and the same?




SUNNY GAULT: So just making sure we got the right terminology.


SUNNY GAULT: Okay. So let’s kind of, okay so she should call her care provider, get in touch, figure out you know what they want her to do and then either proceed forward to the birth place whatever follow the advice.


SUNNY GAULT: What if labor contractions have not started? So your water has broken… and that’s kind of happen to me. It didn’t start right away. I knew that they were going to start and actually that’s what kind of scare me because I thought I was going to get, get off with a second, a second pregnancy in birth without any contractions because of what I thought I’m going to be scheduled C-section. And I was like oh crap, now I’m going to go into labor.

And then I was just like gosh I’ve heard that it that it kind of start to trigger things and I was like kind of looking at the watch, okay when I’m going to feel the first contraction? When I’m going to feel it? And by the time they could get me to the hospital, get me checked in, I was in it just as much pain as my first baby right before the epidural you know and I was just like I thought I wasn’t going to have to do this. I had plans today. You had plans today. Anyways so what do we do if those contractions haven’t started yet? You mentioned the possibility of infection. So there are some things going on down there. What do we need to know?

ABBY LACEY: Yeah Stephanie what do we need to know?

STEPHANIE GLOVER: I too had I had with my second my water broke you know slowly and it trickle before I felt anything.


STEPHANIE GLOVER: And I’m chuckling a little because what I did might not necessarily be what I would recommend but I think that a woman’s birthing intuition is strong and so that’s how I defend…

SUNNY GAULT: Disclaimer.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: What I did. I really think it’s going to come back to that care provider that you’ve chosen really what you’ve talked about with them in terms of your plan and also considering if you have any conditions in your pregnancy that need to be considered for labor. For instance if you are group B strip positive then oftentimes care providers will want you to come in right away when your water is broken or shortly thereafter because they want to get you on around of antibiotics.

SUNNY GAULT: Now what does that mean? Group B?

STEPHANIE GLOVER: So group B it’s a bacteria that about I think 10% to upwards of 30% of women actually have contained in their body and you can have, you can test positive for it in one pregnancy and negative in another. So you can just kind of carry these bacteria. However there is a risk that if untreated by antibiotics during labor you can pass these bacteria to your baby and it can cause complications. And so what they are hoping to do by giving you the antibiotic is hoping to also get those to your baby to help during labor to protect them from any complications.

So when that’s happened of course with increased infection risk once water is broken, oftentimes GBs positive mommas are encouraged into the hospital sooner. Some care providers are okay with look you’re not feeling anything, you’re good health wise, stay at home maybe just try to get things going on your own and you can do acupressure, take a walk, you know take a…relax, eat, you know fuel up. There’s a number of things that you can do. No I don’t think that they recommend intercourse because they want you to keep things out.

SUNNY GAULT: Like what you say keep stuff out.


SUNNY GAULT: Baby danger Will Robinson.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Right. But even you know they use to discourage taking a bath but now they’re realizing that’s not even necessarily evidence based and as long as the tub is clean a bath can often be okay.

SUNNY GAULT: As oppose to a shower does it matter?

STEPHANIE GLOVER: A shower would be fine…


STEPHANIE GLOVER: But they thought some thought initially that because you’re submerged in a tub…


STEPHANIE GLOVER: That the water maybe it could increase infection.


STEPHANIE GLOVER: And but yeah I think a lot of it is going to have to do with your personal kind of circumstances, and the comfort level of your provider and how long that you know they want you to wait before coming in before labor actually get started.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay. I think we talked about this a little bit before but I want to be very clear so artificially rupturing your membranes, what is all that about? That’s when it doesn’t happen naturally…


SUNNY GAULT: And some of that stuff for you.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Yeah so that’s AROM as Abby had pointed out earlier.


STEPHANIE GLOVER: So artificial rupture of membrane is a procedure that’s done by a care provider, they often use this it’s a plastic tool that looks almost like a crochet needle. So it has just a little hook on the end and they insert that through the cervix and hook around the sac and rupture it that way.

SUNNY GAULT: And Abby you can answer this, why would that be done?

ABBY LACEY: Well it could be done for any number of reasons. The most common one that we see is that providers believe that it can help expedite labor.

ANNIE LAIRD: Bring on the contractions stronger.

ABBY LACEY: Yeah or…

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah so babies born faster. Speed a little…

ABBY LACEY: Exactly.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yeah speeding along.

ABBY LACEY: In truth the average is that it only shortens labor by about 45 minutes. So if you’re talking about a 24 hour labor which is average for a first time mom, 45 minutes not necessarily a significant amount of time in the bigger picture of things. But in some circumstances it’s actually really highly recommended. It’s not uncommon for some babies to not fully engage in the pelvis. In that I mean come down and really have their head applied to the cervix.

So if the amniotic sac is creating a cushion between the head and the cervix, what they’ll often want to do is rupture the membrane, break the water, so that the baby comes down and their head really gets well applied to that cervix because ultimately it’s that baby’s head on the cervix that helps continue labor by stimulating contractions and help dilate the cervix because you want something adding pressure to that while the muscle is stretch.

SUNNY GAULT: Are there any is there a downside? Is there evidence based information on that says there’s a downside to artificially rupturing membranes?

ABBY LACEY: Absolutely. If you rupture membranes too early in the process then you get back to you know that risk of infection which isn’t just from group beta strip. There’s an infection called curio and it doesn’t happen significant amount anymore in American Healthcare but curio is actually a very dangerous uterine infection that can be transmitted to the baby and that’s a reason for an emergency C-section. You know the other risk that you will hear a lot of care providers not necessarily talk about, I think doulas maybe do a little bit more is there’s kind of artificial clock that you get put on once your water breaks.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes. That’s what I felt like almost pressure like oh they’re coming today. Oh crap.


ABBY LACEY: Yeah. And it’s not just that self-imposed oh my god my baby is coming. It’s also from a medical provider’s perspective. They really want to see you making forward progress towards birth in your baby by 24 hours after rupture. If you are not making forward progress and that’s defined differently by every provider and every facility but if you are not making forward progress toward actually birthing the baby within 24 hours, again you’re going to be considered a candidate for a C-section at that time.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay. So the ladies here in the studio like how long did it take after for your personal experience whether it was ruptured you know artificially or your water broke on your own. About how long did it take for you to finally get that baby out?

ANNIE LAIRD: Oh I had, for my first baby my membrane the water is broken artificially you know with the amnio hook and it was about 6 hours later. So I went from you know maybe one to two centimetres. I went from 1 to 2 centimetres to 10 centimetres and pushing out the baby in 6 hours. So it’s rather expeditious especially for a first baby.

ABBY LACEY: Absolutely.


ANNIE LAIRD: If I have had a doula she would have been psyched. And then for my second baby as I think I said before, you know her water’s ruptured spontaneously she was born like a minute later and then my third baby, Abby you were there, Abby was my doula for my third baby. What was that? It was like probably like 8 in the morning I want to say maybe.


ANNIE LAIRD: That my water is released and then it was like 11 o’clock so about 3 hours later.

ABBY LACEY: Yeah. It was shortly before…


ABBY LACEY: Pushing stage started.



ANNIE LAIRD: So that’s very different. Yeah.

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Mine was yeah when they artificially ruptured my membranes in the hospital I think I was about 5 centimetres and then I think I got to completely push like maybe 6 hours later. And then but I ended up with a C-section and then with my second I started to having the slow trickle and then 18 hours later went to the hospital at 10 centimetres and had my baby a couple of hours later.

ABBY LACEY: After a full night of sleep?

STEPHANIE GLOVER: Yeah and a high protein meal and a shower.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah I think mine was about 6 after Ainsley broke the water I think mine was about 6 but mine was different because they had to prep the room and you know mine was a C-section so there was like someone that was ahead of us and you know what I mean and they’re not thinking you know that I’m in you know there was no distress on the baby.

You know what I mean and everything was going swimmingly except the fact that I did not want to be in labor experiencing labor pains. But I think it was about 6 hours before it actually we were I was on the table and they were doing their thing. That seems to be pretty consistent. Okay well thank you ladies for sharing your experiences today about what to do when your water breaks.

For more information about Stephanie, you guys can visit the episode page on our website. This conversation continues for members of our Preggie Pals club. After the show Stephanie is going to be discussing premature rupture membranes. To join our club visit our website, www.newmommymedia.com.

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ANNIE LAIRD: We have a question for one of our experts. Jannette in [inaudible] writes I’m a cross fit junkie and I just found out I’m pregnant. How can I modify the exercises so that they’re safe for….

LEIGH-ANN WEBSTER: Hi Jannette this is Leigh-Ann Webster with 52 Healthy Weeks. I want to get back to you regarding your question about doing cross fit while pregnant. What I would recommend is number one talk to your cross fit coach because she or he will know you better than anyone and they’ll know what you’re capable of and what you’ve been doing up to this point. But there are a few things that you definitely want to keep in mind.

Number one listen to your body throughout your work out and if there is ever a time when you feel like you want to stop but your mind is telling you to keep going, please stop because this is definitely not the time for pushing yourself.

The second thing would be to stick with lighter weight and lower reps. I know this is not what you are used to but it definitely something that you want to keep in mind while you’re pregnant.

The third thing would be not to lie on your back after that first trimester and don’t do anything that’s inverted, yes it makes you become dizzy and that’s another thing you definitely want to talk to your cross fit coach about.

And the last thing I would highly recommend is that throughout your work out you’ll be able to carry on a conversation. I know that generally speaking with cross fit we all become very anaerobic at times without oxygen having you know difficult time carrying a conversation and that is often the goal.

However when you’re pregnant it is very important to keep your heart rate just a little bit lower and to be able to carry on a conversation and then know what your rate of [inaudible] is. I hope these answers help and have a great pregnancy and God safe.

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SUNNY GAULT: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Preggie Pals.
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows
• Parent Savers for parents with new born, infants and toddlers
• Twin Talks for parents of multiples
• Our show The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies

This Preggie Pals; “Your Pregnancy Your Way”

This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com .

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