Worried about your water breaking in a public place? Having sleepless nights thinking how will you manage a gush of water flowing down your body? Relax. Water breaking during the last stage of pregnancy, at about week 40, is a signal that your body is getting ready for labor and the baby is coming soon.

Baby In Womb

Baby in the womb surrounded by amniotic fluid

Water breaking basically refers to the rupture of the membrane full of amniotic fluids that cushions your baby in the womb. This fluid begins leaking out through your cervix or vagina, when you are full term and in labor. It can happen before you actually go into labor, though the chances are less. Water breaking usually happens after the first stage of labor, and you are most likely to be in the hospital at this time. And if it does happen before, it will not be a gush of water causing you embarrassment but just a trickle or a few drops, colorless to having a yellowish tinge and odourless. If that happens, call your OB right away and try not to panic, you will not be having labor contractions till another few hours. Your OB would have provided you some instructions and signs to watch out for, if you cannot recall, call him right away, day or night.

You could wear a sanitary napkin, (no tampons), and if heading for the hospital, may need to use a plastic sheet to protect the car seat. Always note the color of the fluid, that will be the first question you will be asked at the hospital.

If your contractions have not started, you may be induced labor but only after 24 hours of your water breaking. In case your water breaks at around 37 weeks of pregnancy, you might be induced into labor immediately or advised to wait for another 24 hours. Beyond this, your doctor will take a call on inducing labor or waiting another 24 hours.

You need to reach out your doctor on SOS basis if-

  • Your water looks green or brown, indicating that the baby has passed his first bowel movement inside.
  • You have fever, and are experiencing shivering.
  • Your baby’s movements suddenly go away.
  • You feel something in your vagina or see the umbilical cord.