water breaks, ruptured water, what to do when my water breaks

What if my water breaks and then nothing happens?

Almost 3 years ago my labor started. It was 11 pm when the gush of waters came. At first, I thought I had wet the bed. Then the leak wouldn’t stop. I awoke my husband and told him my water had broken. Neither of us knew what to do because with both prior births my water had broken as baby was being birthed. We called the midwife who said to let her know when contractions picked up. They did….initially, but then they stopped. It was this way for almost 25 hours. Then we had a baby and life went on.

However, what happens when your water breaks and then…waiting. The confusion that something is supposed to be happening now even though nothing is. The anxiety of wanting the body to start working. Trying everything to get the body to start working and then more waiting. It’s frustrating, it’s scary, and it’s completely normal. What? Yes, you read that correctly. The body can take hours, days, weeks even before baby arrives after your water breaks. So what are some things you should do to ensure both mom and baby are doing alright?

  1. Drink plenty of fluids. You should have at least 8 glasses throughout the day. If you need a little flavoring adding some fruit to your water helps greatly.
  2. Allow nothing in the vagina. Absolutely nothing! No fingers (cervical check), no instruments (cervical check or fetal monitoring), no bath water, no pool water, no red raspberry leaf extract, no evening primrose oil,  no penises (to try to get labor going), no oral/genital contact (to try to get labor going). NOTHING!
  3. Wear loose-fitting pants or shorts, but no panties.
  4. If you are leaking, towels fresh out of the dryer can help and feel wonderful.
  5. Take your temperature every 4 hours while you are awake. 96-99 degrees Fahrenheit is normal. If it goes up, drink some water, retake it and if it’s still up call your medical individual. It could be a sign of infection.
  6. Take 250 mg of Vitamin C every 3 hours while you are awake. Citrus, kiwi, and red peppers are all excellent sources.
  7. No baths. Shower as much as you would like. *See number 2*
  8. Eat foods that are easy to digest and do not contain MSG. The closer to real food, the better for you in the birth process.
  9. Be meticulous about toileting. Wipe front to back and wash hands carefully afterwards to avoid introducing bacteria into the vaginal area.
  10. If the water is colored green or brown (or mucous-y) or has a bad smell, let your medical individual know immediately. This can be a sign of meconium release or infection.

If you want to know how baby is doing, continue to do fetal monitoring with a doplar and continue counting baby’s movements (kick counts).

How long can I go between ruptured waters and birth? There are birth studies that have shown up to 6 weeks can go between spontaneous rupture of waters and birth. And as for my little one? She was a healthy, 7 lb 9 oz, 21 in little bundle of fluff. Lakeland Photographer doula birth

More information can be found at: www.wisewomanwayofbirth.com


About the Author

Christine Santos

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Owner of Sun State Doulas, Christine is passionate about pregnancy, birth, and parenting issues that affect mainstream families. She is mother to 3 girls and is an active member of the roller derby community. Her favorite quote is, “Not my body, not my baby, not my birth, not my choice.”

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