Ruptured Membranes – What It Means & What You Should Do
If you are leaking fluid, it can often be very difficult to tell if you are leaking urine or amniotic fluid as a result of having ruptured membranes. In most cases you will probably be leaking urine, and only 3 percent of pregnant women will go into premature labor (before 37 weeks) as a result of ruptured membranes.
There are many different ways to tell the difference, but none are a definite answer. The main way of would be to tell would be to smell it – of course we all know that urine has a characteristic smell and color.
Urine also tends to leak at specific times, so if your bladder is full, or when you cough, sneeze or exercise, so if you are noticing fluid leaking during these times then there is a good chance that you are just leaking fluid.
The important thing is that you know that you should always approach your healthcare provider if you have any concerns, after all it is better to be safe than sorry.
What You Should Know
In most cases your membranes will rupture as you are nearing the end of your pregnancy, and this is definitely one of the early signs of labor. If your water does break in public, and you have visions of a huge gush of water running all over the floor, then you have probably been watching too many movies. It is usually experienced as a slow trickle, or at most a small gush of fluid of colorless and odorless amniotic fluid.
Call your practitioner right away if your water breaks and the fluid looks green or brown, which may mean your baby may have had a bowel movement in utero.
What Should You Do When Your Membranes Rupture
Your Health care provider would have given you some instructions to follow when your water breaks. If you cant remember what these instructions may have been don’t be afraid to call him/her at anytime of the day or night.
If part of these instructions where to wait for the onset of contractions over the next 12 hours then you will need to protect your baby from any possible infection, and this means.
- Use maxi pads, not tampons, to keep the amniotic fluid from wetting your clothes
- Keep your vaginal area clean
- When you go to the bathroom, be sure to wipe from front to back
- Sexual intercourse is officially off-limits
If you feel something in your vagina, or see any of the umbilical cord at the vaginal opening, get medical help immediately.