If you’ve read the countless books that tell you about pregnancy, you probably already know that water break signals labor. You should be observant about the flow of fluids from your body but at the same time, do not panic if you are urinating more than normal.
In the womb, the fetus is protected by a membranous sac called as the amniotic sac. This sac contains the amniotic fluid which acts as a cushion to protect the baby, throughout the course of the pregnancy. At the end of the third trimester, this sac ruptures and lets out the amniotic fluid which also triggers the release of certain hormones which ultimately cause contractions of the uterine muscles.
If you are regularly monitoring your pregnancy, you will realize that the amniotic fluid peaks at about 800 ml during your 34th week, whereas reduces to 600ml in your 40th week. This phenomenon occurs because the fluid is constantly swallowed, inhaled and exhaled by the baby. The amniotic fluid not only helps in shock absorption but is vital for several other functions such as – development of the fetus’ lungs, maintenance of a constant temperature in the womb, etc.
One of the later functions of this fluid is that it helps you push out the baby during delivery. It is not necessary for water to break only after the full term of the pregnancy is completed, but can happen prematurely as well. The amniotic sac ruptures which leads to a trickle, slow leak or gush of fluid through the vagina.
How to Differentiate?
During pregnancy, there is so much pressure on the bladder that it is natural for a little urine to leak out, once in a while. In such cases, women wonder how to identify if their water has broken or if it is merely a urinary leak. You can confirm which one it is by following these few steps:
1. Go to the loo and empty your bladder; despite this, if there is an incidence of fluid, you have probably broken your water.
2. A gush of fluid – urine will never come out in gushes, unlike amniotic fluid.
3. Use a maternity pad – if the fluid is yellow and has a pungent smell, it is urine. But is the fluid is colourless and odourless, it is the amniotic fluid.
4. Hold your pelvic floor muscle tight (the way you do in kegel exercises) and see if the flow stops. If it does, then it is urine. If the flow continues, then it is a sign that your water has broken.
Precautions to take after Water breaks out
Here are a few measures you need to take as soon as your water breaks:
1. Call up your doctor and inform them immediately so that they can start setting up.
2. Keep the vaginal area clean and follow steps given by your doctor.
3. Use maternity pads or a thick cloth to prevent your clothes from wetting; you can use a towel if there is a gushing of the fluid.
Although water break is a normal phenomenon at the end of any pregnancy, thus leading up to delivery, it may cause panic. Under such circumstances, seek immediate help, from your partner, family member or anyone who is nearby and ask them to get you to the hospital. Try to breathe in and out to regulate your breathing while at the same time calming yourselves. Remember, that little life for whom you’ve been waiting for, for 9 months, is finally about to arrive.