As the due date approaches, we all find ourselves in the exciting wait for the typical symptoms that start labor.
One of the most noticeable and unmistakable signs that contractions will begin is the rupture of the amniotic sac, also known as a water bag or fountain.
But what does it mean to break water sources? How do I know if I broke water sources? What does it feel like when this happens? Is it the same as urine leakage? What do I do if it breaks?
When the due date is approaching, water rupture is normal, and induced by contractions during labor.
When we “break the fountain” or the bag of water, it means that the amniotic sac that housed the baby throughout the pregnancy, has been broken and will soon begin labor. In most cases, water breakage occurs unexpectedly, such as a sudden release of water that is difficult to control.
When it breaks, it can come out in the form of a squirt or be a drip that comes and goes, in any case do not get nervous! because you will have time to prepare to go to the hospital.
What does “breaking fountains” mean?
The moment in which the amniotic sac that holds the baby in the uterus breaks down and the amniotic fluid begins to flow is called “water breaking”.
The water bag, also known as the fountain, is a transparent and odorless liquid that develops from the 12th day of fertilization, with the aim of protecting and containing the baby during its development.
When it breaks, the baby loses its protection and therefore it is time to start the birth.
Some women break water before starting contractions, others experience it during dilation, and others when the baby is about to be born.
In most cases, “breaking fountains” is a clear sign that the soon-to-be-born (if not already in labor).
However, there is a possibility that it occurs before the time, i.e. before the 37th week of pregnancy, and that it is therefore necessary to subject the mother to a corticosteroid treatment to accelerate the baby’s pulmonary maturation.
They are also likely to give antibiotics to prevent infection of the amniotic fluid.
If the rupture occurs after 37 weeks, it is important to see a doctor for a study to determine if labor has begun.
In case it has not yet started, it is only a matter of waiting a few hours as contractions usually start about 12 hours after the water breaks. If not, oxytocin will be given to speed it up.
A sure sign that you’ve broken the fountain is that once the amniotic fluid begins to flow, you can’t control it.
How do you break the fountain?
Although each woman’s experience is different, the fountain often breaks spontaneously when childbirth approaches, in fact it is estimated that 15% of childbirths begin with water breakage.
But it can also occur during labor, and in some cases, the OB/GYN may make the decision to break it to induce labor.
15% of births start after a rupture of the water bag
Once the sudden expulsion of the amniotic fluid becomes visible, in the next 24 hours, the contractions, dilation and detachment of the mucous plug will begin to generate, i.e. all the symptoms and signs that the time of delivery has arrived.
The moment the mother breaks the water and the baby loses the amniotic fluid, it is completely exposed to the external environment, so it is necessary to proceed with the birth.
How do you know if the water bottle has broken?
The bag of water could break unexpectedly, so it is likely to lose a large amount of liquid, quickly and profusely or as a slow drip through the v@gina.
Most of the time, it is the baby that causes the break when pushing its head to come out, but more than a sudden break, is a small tear that occurs in the membranes of the bag.
Depending on where the tear has occurred, there will be little or no fluid loss. Many times it happens that if the mother sits or stands up, the baby’s head blocks the flow of fluid, as if it were a plug when the tear occurs near the cervix. But if the break occurs higher up, the drip is more abundant in these positions.
Sometimes it’s not easy to tell if the source of truth is broken, and knowing for sure can be difficult even for doctors.
If you’re not sure you’ve broken the fountain, make the following recommendations:
- Put on a white compress or towel and check how often it gets wet.
- Empty your bladder as soon as you suspect you’ve broken the fountains.
- If the fluid is yellowish, it is likely urine. Amniotic fluid is generally colorless and odorless.
- Try to stay reclined, moving the minimum necessary.
- When you suspect you’ve broken fountains, don’t have sex.
- Contact your doctor immediately so you can get out of doubt.
The amniotic sac breaks when your baby pushes his head out.
How does it feel to break water?
Many pregnant women wonder what it feels like to break a fountain or water bottle, but as we have already explained, the experience is completely different for each woman.
In any case, it is the expulsion of a transparent liquid with a slight yellowish tone that descends from the v@gina and runs through the legs, without causing pain or discomfort.
Although the sensation may be similar to that of urinating, the liquid that descends due to the rupture of fountains is constant, difficult to control and any movement that is made can make it more intense.
What to do if the water bottle breaks?
As soon as you notice that you have broken fountains, the first thing you should do is look at the time when it broke and check how this liquid is.
If the liquid is clear and odorless, there’s nothing to worry about, in fact your doctor may recommend that you stay home a little longer.
You can take advantage of these hours to prepare everything you need to go to the hospital, such as clothes, and warn all your relatives that childbirth is approaching.
You can even take a shower without problems, but without immersing yourself in water in a bathtub or swimming pool, as it is totally unadvised.
If, on the other hand, you notice that the amniotic fluid is green, has a yellowish-brown shade, or some other colour that is not transparent, you should inform your doctor immediately and try to go to the hospital or sanatorium as soon as possible, in case the baby has any problems.
The ideal is to remain calm, check that everything is all right and prepare everything to go to the hospital.
What are the most common experiences of breaking fountains?
All the women who have experienced the breaking of the fountain, describe it as a completely different sensation, however there are many who share the experience of feeling a large amount of liquid that descends from their intimate area, as if it were a waterfall or a jet of water.
Others even hear a “pop” sound, as if something were uncovered the instant the fountain breaks.
In some women, the water break feels like a waterfall, in others it may feel like a simple drip.
Although for the majority to break fountains is to experience the exit of a gush of water, not in all the cases it is like that, in fact many cases are counted in which the women hardly feel a slight drip or the outbreak of a thread of amniotic liquid, that sometimes is even confused with a loss of common urine.
There are also those who say they feel a loss of fluid as if it were menstruation, that is to say a middle ground between the two situations.
As you can see, font breakage is not always the same and can vary from one woman to another, however this does not mean that it is not something completely natural. However, it is important that you consult your doctor if there are any irregularities.
Does it hurt the baby if the water breaks? Can it run out of fluid?
Breaking fountains can be a worrisome experience for any new mom, but even though it involves the loss of amniotic fluid, once the membrane ruptures, the mom can wait between 48 hours and 3 weeks before having her baby, as long as she retains much of the amniotic fluid and the pregnancy is totally healthy.
In other situations, childbirth takes place within a few hours of the rupture of water sources, in fact it is estimated that a mother with great loss of amniotic fluid has approximately 6 hours to go to the hospital and start childbirth without problems and without running any health risk.
This is roughly the estimated time before the mother is exposed to an infectious process due to the baby’s exposure to the outside environment.
However, you can rest assured that the medical staff will prevent this from happening, and will monitor the baby’s state of health at all times, before and after birth.
Sometimes, the water is broken to make labor go faster or to evaluate the color of the amniotic fluid.
When do you have to worry?
Normally, breaking the fountain is not a cause for concern, on the contrary it is a simple sign that the birth of your baby is already near.
However, when the amniotic fluid is expelled, it may be yellowish or greenish, a worrying sign that the baby has defecated meconium into the bag. These are the situations of concern in which you should see your doctor immediately:
- Whether the liquid is yellow, brown, or green: While this is very unlikely, there is a possibility that the baby will defecate meconium, substances found in the digestive system that consist of secretions from the stomach, dead cells, and amniotic fluid. Meconium is usually expelled by the baby within 48 hours of birth, but when it is expelled in the bag, it can put the baby’s life at risk.
- If it occurs before the 22nd week of pregnancy: If the amniotic membrane ruptures before the 22nd week, it is very likely to be an early or first trimester abortion.
- If it occurs between the 22nd and 28th week: It is an immature preterm birth, because at this stage the baby still has the lung capacity necessary to live and face the outside.
In these cases, it is extremely important that you go to the hospital immediately to avoid any risk of infection for your baby and for you. If you still don’t have contractions, your doctor should induce you to give birth in the next 12 to 24 hours as a preventive measure.
Although in most cases breaking fountains does not represent any risk or danger, once the bag is broken, there is a possibility that some bacteria can enter the uterus through the v@gina and cause an infection in you or your baby.
For this reason, it is important to always be alert and consult with your doctor about what to do to avoid any inconvenience and make the birth of your baby a success.
In most cases, it is best to go to the hospital in the presence of any loss of fluid for the doctor to assess whether it is a water break, if there is dilation, contractions and what is the condition of the baby. If there is no labor, you may be able to induce labor in a short amount of time if necessary.
If you have any questions, consult your doctor of confidence.