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Thread: Quick question about waters breaking

  1. #1

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    Question Quick question about waters breaking

    Just a quick question. I have been reading a birth book, and it briefly mentions that sometimes your waters break without any other signs of labour, and that induction is necessary.



    Is this true?

    Assuming there are no complications (like mec. in the waters or pPROM), how long can you wait for labour to start on its own, or do you have to be induced straight away if this happens? You have to go to hospital if your waters break, do they usually make you stay? What are the risks of waiting?

    I guess a lot of this would depend on hospital policy but I am just wondering.

  2. #2

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    Policies vary from hospital to hospital and OB to OB. The risk is that once the waters are broken the barrier between the baby and the outside world is gone, so that an infection could possible infect the placenta or the baby.

    I'll have to ask DW what the common policies are.

  3. #3

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    It's true that this can happen - it happened to me with my first baby - but as to when induction becomes necessary that is a grey area and as Schmickers said will mostly be determined by the policy of the careprovider.

    Around 12-24 hours with no contractions seems to be the limit most places. Recently a mum I worked with had a hindwater leak at 2.30am and by 8am her OB was insisting on a drip (6hrs). I have known other women who have gone 24-72 hours just keeping an eye on their temperature (as a warning sign for infection).

    The statistics on this say that about 80% of women will start labour within 24 hours of water breaking.

    Most hospitals will insist that you go in when your water breaks, but as with anything it is entirely up to you whether or not you do so, once you weigh up your options. After you go in you're on the clock, so if nothing happens in 6-12 hours generally you're going to experience pressure to get labour going artificially.

  4. #4

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    My friend had her waters break in January at 29 weeks. They kept her on bedrest in hospital & said she would stay there until labour started. She ended up having her baby boy at 32 weeks 3 days. She was checked every day for signs of infection etc & just left to wait it out.

  5. #5

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    Yes, this happened to me!

    My waters broke on the Tuesday night while I was watching tv. But no contractions at all. I called the midwife and she advised me to wait for contractions and call again if any happened. Wednesday morning, none had come, so I called again. Midwife said to come into hospital to make sure it was the waters that had broken. She told me then that if there were no contractions by Friday morning I was to be induced then and sent me home. This was with the midwifery group practice, whose aim is for as natural a birth as possible, so I'm guessing that they would have the longer timeframe for allowing natural labour to kick in. This would have been roughly 60 hours from when the waters broke before they would induce. It turned out that my contractions started early on Thursday morning - about 32 hours after my waters broke. I still didn't give birth until Friday morning, but that's another story! My advice if your waters break early is to not be on edge waiting for it all to happen, as it could be ages before your baby is born and you need lots of rest in between!

  6. #6

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    I had pPROm at 36 weeks and 2 days. I went in to the hospital at 5am, was given 1 dose of IV antibiotics had CTG monitoring for 1/24 and d/c home with oral antibiotics to come in 48 hours later for an induction. My daughter was born at 7pm that night after going into labour naturally! The midwives didn't believe me when I told them I was ready to come in, they suggested I wait longer but I insisted and they were shocked that I was 9cm dilated when I got there. (I NEW it was time to come in! LOL). Had a normal vaginal birth with no pain relief.

  7. #7

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    Yep, my hindwaters started leaking very slowly and over about 2 1/2 it slowly go more and more. I was in contact with the hospital and they eventually told me to come in. They observed me overnight and in the morning I was induced, so about 3 1/2 days after my waters started leaking they induced me. It ended up being that I had to have my front (??) waters broken anyway, because they wouldn't break!!

  8. #8

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    TRUE!!!

    With my DD, waters broke at 5.30am on her due date. Rang hospital, they said ring back after lunch and let them know what was happening - well, a big fat nothing. They told me to come in - examined - one midwife was sure it was hindwater - but I knew better and kept saying nope too much etc

    So, they gave me anti's around 9pm, stayed in o/n and more anti's in the morning - then synto drip at 8.30. Had a few contractions o/n but not enough to worry about. Couldn't sleep from anticipation etc and being in hospital - would rather have had the anti's - gone home and slept and come in first thing in the morning.

    I know now I can ask to wait a bit longer and have things monitored. After she was born, midwife who delivered said yep definitely waters that broke and not a hindwater leak - trust your instincts too

    So, yep, sure is true

  9. #9
    paradise lost Guest

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    From my own experience:

    My waters broke at 3am, but we didn't call to tell anyone because a) it was 3am and b) we were having a homnebirth and i knew from the (very light, crampy) ctx it would be hours and hours yet so i went back to sleep. My midwives wanted to know when they arrived (2pm) if and when my waters had gone and had i still been in labour then, i was to begin taking anti-biotics at 9pm as the pead thought it'd be safer to give them and protect DD from potential infection. In fact normally they'd have wanted me to go in and have them IV but my fabulous second MW said "No, she won't transfer for that" so they gave her tablets for me instead.

    IN the hospital my midwives came out from the give you 24 hours to GIVE BIRTH (not just go into labour) and then section you (which is why i didn't want to give birth there) but in my homebirth setting they couldn't make me do anything and i was staying put unless i got a fever or DD's heart tones got dodgy.

    She was born at 6.20pm so no anti-B's for us anyway. If your waters break then you might want to carefully weigh up the possible benefits of any VE's you have before you have them - if you aren't having ctx you won't be dilating, and putting a hand (even gloved) in there is vastly increasing the risk of infection. I had one VE my whole labour.

    Anecdotally:

    My sister was born on a Thursday evening. Mum's waters had broken at 2am on Monday. She was a homebirth too and mum called the midwife but since mum herself had been a nurse the MW just told her to take her temperature every 2 hours and not stress. She was mum's 4th baby and mum always said she had to "walk her out" because she just didn't want to budge! She was born at 43+5!!!

    My friends mum's waters broke with her 5 days before she was born and there were no contractions for 4 of those days. She was young and naive andjust didn't tell anyone (was scared to go to hossie). My friend was fine when she finally came out!

    It's important to remember that for many many women waters don't break until late in the 1st stage or even during pushing. Though i know a fair few people whose broke before i know LOTS more whose broke during labour. It's not that likely to happen and if it does it's no biggie. The only people i know whose babies got infections from this were failed inductions where the Ob broke the water himself.

    Bx

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