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What are you supposed to do after your water breaks?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I had planned a hospital delivery with a doctor I felt comfortable with. I wanted to do it unmedicated and I wanted to wait as long as possible before going to the hospital.
My water broke spontaneously at 7am and I was told by my MIL (a nurse) and my doctor's stand-in (i.e. the doctor on call) to go into the hospital ASAP. I am convinced that this is most of what caused my c-section, because I then "wasn't progressing fast enough," so received pitocin, then the pain was bad so I ended up with Stadol and an epidural, and then, at about 3am, I was about 10cm and tried pushing, but my baby was stuck. Despite forceps, I still had to have a c-section.

I am glossing over the details of my birth experience, which were very far from what I wanted and which still sadden me. But I want to know what I should have done. Do I HAVE to go to the hospital when my water breaks? What about infection? If something like this happens next time, I want to try to avoid the same outcome.
I do wonder, if I did not have pitocin, if he would have just taken his time to turn.
post #2 of 11
No, you didn't have to go to the hospital. As long as you don't allow foreign bodies in your vagina you don't need to worry about infection.
I have a friend that was term and her water was broken (with her MW's knowledge) for a week before going to the hospital.
You could just stay home until contractions got very close together. The longer you are in the hospital the more likely a cesarean.

post #3 of 11
I agree with the PP
there is no reason to go to the hospital just bc your waters have broken.
new research is even showing you can sit in the bath.
Just dont let anyone do vaginal exams (at least till you are really sure you are in advanced labour, if at all).
post #4 of 11
Just keep things out of there and stay home until you're actually IN labor.

(me, personally, once my water breaks, I'm having a baby in less than two hours, so there's not much to do except brace myself )

Namaste, Tara
post #5 of 11
the greatest infection risk after water breaks is not anything at home--but the fact that a lot of people put their hands in your vagina while you're at the hospital, and/or fetal monitors of various sorts, and the like.

at home, you're already immune and if you keep the place clean anyway, you know it's free of 'superbugs' that infect hospitals.

definately labor at home and don't worry about it. A lot of women give birth at home--with no infections to the baby or complications. some of these homebirthers give birth without people helping them (no midwive, etc)--also with no infections to baby or other complications.

one thing to look at when choosing a hospital/doctor birth is the doctor's and hospitals c-section rate. some hospitals have a rate of over 40%--which is really high for the developed (western) world. Some doctors have a rate of over 80% c-section rate, usually calling those rates "emergencies" but how can a doctor have so many 'emergency' patients? it just doesn't make sense. Often, it is hospital policy for interventions (sometimes determined by law, other times by hosptial administrations, usually driven by money) that causes "emergency" c-sections.

this is n ot to say that emergency c-sections do not exist. But in most of the developed world, there are far fewer emergency c-sections than in the US. i can't imagine that we're so very fragile or needy, you know?

So, if you're going to birth in hospital, labor at home and transfer.
post #6 of 11
You can go several days (even weeks) after your water breaks. The biggest thing is to keep everyone and everything out of your vagina. I had PPROM at 29 weeks, and went into the hospital about 11 hours later (contractions were just starting that last hour), and they wanted to check my dilation, even though they'd already put me on drugs to STOP labor and were planning on keeping me pregnant for days or weeks. I said no to the dilation checks, and my wonderful DH was the bad guy with the nurses (no offense to nurses in general - these just HAD to do a dilation check, regardless of the huge infection risk, and they didn't like us saying no!). The doctors finally said it was ok to skip the check. Hello, the drugs were working.

Anyway, if your labor doesn't start fairly soon, you just want to monitor your temp like every 4 hours to make sure you don't have a fever (which points to infection). But I think avoiding the hospital is probably one of the best ways to prevent infection! Docs want you on a 24 hour time limit, but they're also doing all those dilation checks in a hospital full of germs. If you stay home and keep things out of your vagina, your chance of infection is pretty slim.
post #7 of 11
I just want to add that my water was broken for about 5 days before I realized what was going on I thought "oh the baby must be resting on my bladder so I'm peeing on myself". It was a slow leak. I had no contractions until the fifth day when I had some mild cramping and some bloody show (very light). I then called the hospital and was told to come in but LUCKILY, I got a very cool nurse who kind of encouraged me to to not tell the doctor that my water had been broken for 5 days but that it had just broken that day. Keep in mind that I had NO meconium or anything like that, the fluid was clear. They did tell me they would want to induce in 12 hours if nothing happened so I did laps around the hospital until, while getting some ice cream in the cafeteria suddenly PLOP! the rest of the bag broke and things started moving along. I chose an epidural but gave birth naturally.

the end

post #8 of 11
Would any of this advice change if the mama was Strep +? Assuming no fever....
post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by Shanna4000 View Post
Would any of this advice change if the mama was Strep +? Assuming no fever....
I'm curious about this also....
I was told that strep + requires an antibiotic intervenes once waters break.
post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by Shanna4000 View Post
Would any of this advice change if the mama was Strep +? Assuming no fever....
My MW and I had this discussion because I was GBS+ and we decided that after 12 hours and no baby we would do an IV for 20 minutes - no hospital required and then every 6-12 hours after that.

post #11 of 11
refuse any and all vagina exams, anything going up there, plus they are humiliating anyway who wants one. Plus there are better ways to check dialation without pelvic exams.
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