Water broke, no contractions?

Amy - posted on 06/16/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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Okay, not really a debate. Called into doc. Waiting for her phone call back. My water broke, but no contractions. Did I understand in reading that it's okay to be at home 24 hours after and labor will usually start within 48 hours after breaking??

clear. no dark color. all seems well with that.

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Delia - posted on 06/18/2011

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Ladies, ladies, ladies. Assuming the fluid is clear with no foul smell (an indication of existing infection or stressed baby), I would like to quote the words of an old time OB, "there are three things that cause an infection - two fingers and a nasal cavity". As long as you don't put anything inside, including sterile gloved fingers for vaginal exams by your trusty nurse, you'll be fine. Tested and verified by LOTS of studies!



Waiting 24 hours before inducing, called expectant management, allows 60% to 95% of women to go into labor on their own. If you go to the hospital before that point, the clock will be wound with your first vag exam, and they WILL NOT let you wait. Time = money, and you're occupying a bed that could be occupied by women in active labor. You will be unnecessarily induced which about triples your chance of ending up with a cesarean section.

Re: prolapsed cord, that happens when the baby is still "floating", not once the baby has "dropped" and the head is engaged in the pelvis.

Delia - posted on 06/18/2011

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Re: "My son ended up having to have a chest xray plus antibodotics because he had been inside for so long without water."
Amniotic fluid is replaced every few hours, I believe it's 1/3 per hour, even following rupture of the membranes. There's no such thing as "being inside with no water". It sounds like there may have been meconium (baby's first bowel movement), which if inhaled by baby ,can lead to a serious respiratory infection. Incidentally Pitocin, which is used to speed up or start labor, is associated with increased fetal distress - which increases the presence of meconium.

Stifler's - posted on 06/20/2011

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I think it's more like 36 hours. I had the baby 26 hours after my water broke.

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Delia - posted on 06/20/2011

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Your hospital policy and practitioner's preference may differ, but as I posted earlier in this conversation, numerous studies have demonstrated that if you did not test positive for the presence of beta strep, the fluid is clear with no foul smell , you don't put anything or allow anything inside, including sterile gloved fingers for vaginal exams, you are safe to wait up to 48 hours.



Waiting 24 hours before inducing allows 60% to 95% of women to go into labor on their own.



With my first baby, my water broke Monday night, and I had no contractions until Wednesday morning. I rocked and rolled, and baby #1's toes came out 46 hours after the bag of waters rupturing.

Amy - posted on 06/20/2011

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From what I remember they want the baby out within 24 hours from your water breaking. My water broke with my second child and 11 hours later I was still not contracting so I was put on the pit drip (pitocin, blah) to induce contractions; 6 hours later my son was born. Good luck!

Delia - posted on 06/19/2011

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Yay for you Amy! It sounds like you didn't need to read the advice because your body was ready to give birth. Congratulations! I hope you had a beautiful birth, and thank you for starting an important conversation of sorts amongst your circle of Moms.

Amy - posted on 06/19/2011

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thank you all. sadly i didn't have time to read advice. by 12:00 contractions were here and strong and we headed to the hospital. she was born 456am! talk about a short labor!!

thank you all again!!

Stifler's - posted on 06/19/2011

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I had an exam and went on the monitor then they checked me in and I slept between contractions then they made me walk around the hospital for ages to get labour moving. But no exams after that. With Renae I had about 7 exams, they broke my water, I was on the monitor most of my labour then it was WE'RE CALLING THIS OFF AND DOING A CAESAR and made me sign all these forms.

Jodi - posted on 06/19/2011

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I must admit, no-one did a vaginal exam on me when my water broke. I did go into labour an hour after my water broke, and because we lived a fair way from the hospital, and my mother had a history of fast labours, we went in anyway. But they didn't do an exam, they just hooked me up to a heart monitor initially to check the baby. From memory, they didn't even do an internal exam until I was pretty far advanced in labour and only a couple of hours off delivery :\ Maybe I've just been in good hospitals, I don't know......

Roberta - posted on 06/19/2011

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Unless things have changed most Dr's do want to be informed if your water breaks. Usually they ask you to go to the hospital. When your water breaks and there are no contractions obviously you are close to full labour, but once the water breaks you are more prone to get an infection which could affect your baby. They also like to check the baby out by ultrasound or listening to its heartbeat to make sure it isn't in distress. I am a grandma Amy but had three healthy sons.

Stifler's - posted on 06/19/2011

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I had antibiotics after 18 hours of mine breaking. I had contractions though but like 20 minutes apart. I think the hospital here is too lazy to give people drips I never got one! I wish I did, stupid 26 hours of contractions. Hope you did well giving birth Amy xxx

Erin - posted on 06/18/2011

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You've probably had your baby by now Amy, but I will echo Delia's advice. As long as the amniotic fluid is clear and you're feeling fine (no fever etc), it's fine to wait 12-24hrs. The main factor contributing to the increased risk of infection after rupture of membranes is cervical checks!! So staying at home (no sex, no baths etc) for a a while to give yourself time to start labour is reasonable.

A woman rushing straight into hospital after her waters break is almost guaranteed to be hooked to the Pit and induced. They will not wait for your body to do it spontaneously. Obviously, how long you wait (or have waited, I realise this is past tense for you now lol) is up to you. I would probably be comfortable waiting 12hrs personally.

I'm assuming congratulations are in order!! Can't wait to hear the news :)

Rosie - posted on 06/18/2011

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i'm sure you already had the baby, but i'll throw in my 2 cents anyway. my sister's water broke in the early am., she called the doctor, and they told her to come in when she was having contractions, but no more than 24 hours. she ended up going in at like 7 pm that night and had him a few hours later.

Tammie - posted on 06/17/2011

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as a nursing assistant we always told our moms to be that if your water breaks it is safest to go to the hospital because once your water breaks it opens a door for possible infection and they will instruct you from there. GoodLuck!

Jenni - posted on 06/17/2011

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I imagine you're already at the hospital by now. So good luck! Wishing you a safe and healthy delivery!!!
and congrats! :))

Melanie - posted on 06/17/2011

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My water broke at home, you have to go to the hospital asap!!! The baby is prone to infection, etc. after the water breaks. The Dr needs to monitor the baby once the water breaks as well, because some babies go into distress. When I got to the hospital they sped up labor because if they aren't delivered before the 24hr makr of your water breaking they are once again prone to infection and need to spend some time in the NICU. Good Luck, so exciting!!!

Tyrae - posted on 06/16/2011

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I believe you have to be in full blown labor by 24 hours or their is a large risk of an infection in the baby. I'm not completely sure because their was meconium in my water when it broke and I had to go to the hospital right away.

Kellie - posted on 06/16/2011

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Amy, when I thought my waters had broken (turns out they hadn't) the hospital advised me to go in to be checked over as once the water breaks there's a risk of infection. So I'd head on in to be checked anyways :)

Tara - posted on 06/16/2011

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My OB told me that if my water broke I was to go into the hospital and get checked, but it will depend on your doctor. A lot of doctors won't let you go more than 24-48 hours after your water broke without taking some kind of steps because of the risk of infection.
With my 1st girl I was already in the hospital being induced (almost 3 weeks overdue) when my water broke and I was told that if I hadn't delivered within 24 hours I would be having a c-section. With my 2nd girl, my water broke at 1:45 am, I had her at 7:45 am.
I think for you since you are not having contractions and the fluid is clear, you should definitely wait to hear from your doctor and then get checked out if she says to do so.

Kate CP - posted on 06/16/2011

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"when your water breaks you go to the hospital period. You don't wait for contractions. They need to monitor the baby for distress once the water breaks. If you haven't gone yet go now."

That's not necessarily true. If labor hasn't started and progressed well in the next 12-24 hours you are at an increased risk of infection. Also, was it a GUSH of fluid or a trickle? When in doubt, call the delivery ward and speak to a nurse.

Sadie - posted on 06/16/2011

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Depending on your doctor, as long as it's clear not yellow or green, some Doctors are happy for you to stay at home and go to hospital the next day as they give your body about 24 hours to get into labour on your own after that they usually would induce you and that is due to risk of infection. It would also depend if your doctor has said if you need antibiotics in labour, if you do then you would need to go to hospital to get a shot of antibiotics. Good luck.

Dorota - posted on 06/16/2011

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when your water breaks you go to the hospital period. You don't wait for contractions. They need to monitor the baby for distress once the water breaks. If you haven't gone yet go now.

Jodi - posted on 06/16/2011

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I was always told you shouldn't wait to have a check up once your water breaks, because it is one of the biggest causes of the cord wrapping around the neck......so a check up would be in order at the very least. There is also risk of infection. Anyway, that was my advice 14 years ago :)

Erin - posted on 06/16/2011

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Amy, I'm not sure. When I had my son(who is now 11). My water broke and the doctor made me go to the hospital. But it was four long hours before I ever had a single contracton. 20 hours later I ended up with a csection because my water had been broken for like 18 of those hours and I was only dilated to a six.The rest were csections . I would wait on the doc and just to be on the safe side do what she says. My son ended up having to have a chest xray plus antibodotics because he had been inside for so long without water. He had an iv in his foot for like 24hrs or something. Things are different now, but I guess my point is i wouldn't risk it do what the doc says hope that helps- mom of four

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