During each stage of pregnancy, women go through a lot of changes in their bodies. Many of these changes are common to almost all healthy pregnancies. Stages of all fetal development follow a common pattern.
The third trimester comes with countless complications. The fetus places more strain on the woman’s body. This causes fatigue, trouble sleeping, trouble holding urine, and shortness of breath.
As you near to the end of pregnancy, water may break anytime. This is caused by a series of biological events that causes the amniotic membranes to rupture, releasing the fluid. A small percentage of women may experience water breakage earlier due to premature rupture of membranes.
If not at the hospital, the situation requires you to be calm in order to make an accurate note on what time the membrane ruptured. The healthcare provider will need this information in order to determine how to proceed.
Normal amniotic fluid looks like water. It’s clear and odorless. Look at the color of the fluid, if it has a green or brown color, it could be a sign of fetal distress. If it has a foul smell, could be a sign of infection and need urgent medical attention.
Below is the step- by- step guide on what to do right after your water broke.
- Call your doctor or midwife
Call your health practitioner to check on the health of the pregnancy and advice accordingly. The doctor will wait to see the occurrence of things before taking any procedure. This will depend on how close you are to giving birth
- Get manual examinations
Your nurse will conduct a manual examination to confirm if the water has broken. She will check the cervical dilation distance to see how long it has moved.
- Have bed rest
After your water breaks, you will be restricted to bed rest. This is the fear of prolapsed umbilical cord. A situation where the cord comes down before the baby’s head. This will send you to an urgent cesarean.
- Do not eat or drink
Eating is greatly discouraged because you may need to go to go for a cesarean. It may increase chances of developing Mendelson’s syndrome; a rare condition caused by anesthesia administration.
- Get continuous fetal monitoring
This practice is important in ensuring that the baby is moving and sleeping well. With the head facing down.
- Take antibiotics
Your caregiver will give you antibiotics to prevent infections. Chances of contracting bacterial infections are very high when your water breaks.
- Try to stay calm
You do not want to cause distress to the baby by being nervous. If your contractions are not regular, and they come and go. Try to relax until they get longer and closer, get overnight pads on hand to use during this process. Never use tampon.
Premature water breakage
If your water breaks early, there are several treatments to that. You may be given antibiotics to prevent infection and prolong pregnancy as long as it is safe for you and your baby. Steroids are given to reduce chances of the baby having breathing difficulties.
In some occasions where the water breaks prematurely, the doctor may decide to wait 24 hours if you start labor or induce. In this period, your health practitioner should check your temperature after every four hours, have the heartbeat of the baby checked and make sure the baby is moving normally.
For preterm rupture that is less than 37 weeks, there is a risk of delivering the immature baby; chances of the baby surviving depend on the week of pregnancy. Your doctor may administer contraction suppressants if the labor is extremely premature.
Carrying a pregnancy to term involves many contrasts. You are patiently waiting to have your baby in your arms but you are tired and anxious. Having the information on what to do in case your water breaks is important in making an informed decision. You do not want to jeopardize the safety of your baby.