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Stupid question - how do you clean up furniture if your water breaks?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

This is my second birth (home birth for both) and last time, my baby was born in the caul. This time, I'm terrified my water will break on our brand new couch, on the brand new mattress or on my canvas office chair. HOW do you clean up if your water breaks on furniture? Everything here molds as soon as it gets wet or even slightly dirty, so I'm horrified that if my water breaks, something is going to be ruined. I know it sounds silly, but not to me! Plus, we have giant roaches in Hawaii that stay outside, but are attracted indoors at night for some smells. My midwives warned me last time that when I gave birth, the roaches would smell it and come in droves. They weren't kidding. The house FILLED with the little nasties that night. Something about the smell drives them crazy. Luckily, I gave birth on towels and my husband tossed them outside into the wash, but it may not work out that well this time. Scared of mildew, mold and roaches! EWWW! One of the few downsides of living in Hawaii.


How do I thoroughly clean all of the amniotic fluid out of a mattress or couch cushion? Getting a new one is absolutely not an option. I don't even have a dollar to my name right now.

post #2 of 9

wow - roaches in Hawaii?  i guess i just didnt want to think it was true.....i think prevention is your friend.  Sleep on top of reusable underpads like these:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/53347918/reusable-waterproof-underpad

or even some towels - and put plastic sheets on the bed early on - like at 37 weeks or so....in case your water breaks while you are asleep.

you can also get a box of 'chux' for about 8 - 10$ - those are waterproof pads you can throw away -  You can line your whole house with them while you are in labor - so you are always walking /sitting/lying/leaning on one.  Better yet - take a walk on the beach and hopefully your water will break there!

with my first my water broke on our LR carpet - but i live in NY so - it dried up, i think i blotted it with paper towels - but it was gone soon and didnt leave a stain.  - also, no roaches.....

Its a weird problem - sorry its making me chuckle a little bit!  Good luck


post #3 of 9

No advice about cleaning (though I know hydrogen peroxide gets blood out of furniture), but I guess my most practical advice would be to invest in a package of Depends and start wearing them when you get close to your EDD! My water has broken to start both labors (though fortunately in the middle of the night), and with #2 I loved the Depends during labor (before I got in the pool) and for the immediate postpartum period as well. Maybe putting a thick wool blanket or chux pads, like PP suggested, on your couch or bed would help avert the worst messes, too.


It's relatively unlikely that you'll have a spectacular gush to start labor--only something like 13% of mothers have ROM at the beginning. With mine, both times, I felt a pop and then a trickle, so had time to get to the bathroom before a massive mess resulted. I suspect the really spectacular ROMs happen during labor, rather than at the beginning. So even wearing a pad would help contain the worst of it. Taking vitamin C can help strengthen your bag of waters too, if this is something you're worried about.

post #4 of 9

Babies R Us sells thick cotton waterproof pads that are fairly inexpensive. You could arrange one on the couch and one on the bed. Mostly it is a drip drip drip fluid so I wouldn't worry to much about it.

post #5 of 9

My water broke at work and I had to get a new office chair because there was a residual odor that never went away with upholstery cleaner, vinegar, or peroxide.  Likely a huge contributing cause of this was that it sat uncleaned for the duration of my mat leave (8 weeks).  However, I couldn't very well ask my staff to clean my office chair....definitely not in their job description!

post #6 of 9

shop vac...   saturate thoroughly with clean water...   shop vac again

post #7 of 9

FWIW my water has broken every single time during late labor/at moment of birth.  So for me even though my births were  all very different, that part was the same.

post #8 of 9

Well, for the bed, I would make it like it is recommended for home birth, and I'd do it around 36 weeks.  Clean sheets, waterproof covering, clean sheets.  So when the top layer gets wet you just peel it off and you still have clean sheets.  You can also put Chux pads down under you at night if it makes you feel better. 


You can put sheets on your couch too, if the seat cushions are removable.  Use twins.  I keep my sectional covered with sheets to protect it from my toddler (although that's a point, how long is a brand new sofa going to stay clean anyway with 2 kids in the house?). 


I was sound asleep when my water broke, the "pop" woke me up, I jumped out of bed, grabbed the bowl that I had sitting on my nightstand and squatted.  Caught all of it.  After that it was a steady dribble until he arrived, but a pad or a washcloth folded up in my panties took care of it, and when I couldn't wear panties anymore I walked around with a Chux pad between my legs. 


ETA - you're going to want some sort of protection on your mattress anyway, so look into waterproof mattress pads - try one that isn't all crinkly, they do make them.  Between bleeding and breastmilk and spit up and everything else, without one your mattress is going to be trashed pretty quickly after birth anyway. 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone. I've been walking around the house with a stack of folded towels that I set down before I sit. My husband thinks I'm crazy, but I feel a lot better. Thanks for the tip! If I have an accident, I'll try the peroxide and water soaking. I don't have a shop vac, but maybe I can rinse it in the tub and aim a box fan at whatever it is to try and dry it out if I have a problem.

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