Water breaking first - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-15-2014, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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With my first child, my water breaking was my first sign of labor. Contractions started about 30 minutes later.  Just from reading some threads around here, I've gathered that it's not ideal for your water to break first/early in labor.  Does anyone know why?  Are there things you can do to keep that from happening?  Just curious as I've never heard this before.

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Old 02-15-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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My water has broken all 3 times while pushing so have I never experienced water breaking first.  I'm guessing that maybe some people don't like that because if your water breaks and you don't go into labor soon after some caregivers will get nervous/anxious about the baby?  Someone else will chime in that knows more :)


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Old 02-15-2014, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, that and risk of infection are two reasons I could think of.  I was reading one particular thread about nutrition, though, and I saw this idea mentioned a few times.  People were mentioning a correlation between really nutritious diets during pregnancy with lots of protein, calcium, etc. and their water breaking at the very end.  So, I was wondering if water breaking first was a sign of weaker membranes or something caused from a deficiency of some sort?  Couldn't really find anything with Google though! 

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Old 02-15-2014, 02:56 PM
 
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Zinc and Vitamin C are supposed to strengthen membranes. Risks of early breaking waters are more painful contractions, infection, baby's position being stuck less than ideal, and cord prolapse.

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Old 02-15-2014, 03:14 PM
 
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My first two labors started by my water breaking (1st lead to an induced labor with an epidural, second one my water broke and then labor started a few hours later). 3rd labor water broke right before DS was born.  I didn't notice less pain or anything with the third labor (actually, I felt like it was more intense).  I did eat so many oranges that pregnancy and not much else changed, so I think the vitamin C thing has some truth....

 

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Old 02-16-2014, 12:27 PM
 
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I think with some providers it will put you on the clock to deliver. Also if the head is not applied to the cervix then there is a risk of the cord coming out with the water and then you're in trouble.

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Old 02-16-2014, 01:49 PM
 
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Hi sassylashes, 

 

As others have said, the concern is related to risk of infection. The baby also needs that fluid to have a nice cushion during the stress of labor and to be able to spin around easily and maintain or find good positions; but I don't know if water breaking early would definitely take away enough of your amniotic fluid to cause a problem.

 

Water can break early because of a weak sac, but other things can cause it too, like your baby being in a posterior position and their head puts extra pressure in the wrong places. I speculate but don't actually know that your water can break first when your baby is really not quite ready to come out and that can lead to a long, slow to progress labor or induction. 

 

My first was posterior and my water broke first, my contractions started out very gentle and my birth center midwives put me on the clock to be sent to the hospital if I didn't get a certain ways into active labor by a certain time. They told me to drink castor oil, etc etc. My contractions increased and eventually baby was born at the birth center but it was stressful to do that under pressure. 

 

Before getting pregnant this time I heard that it can be related to nutrition so this pregnancy I ate a ton of citrus with the white part still on (bioflavinoids), and forgot to take but meant to take a lot of zinc (and vit e?). I also spent a LOT of time on SpinningBabies.com positions and exercises to avoid a posterior baby (due to the awful pain I had from back labor the first time), as well as chiropractic and other exercises designed to open the pelvis at the very end when baby seemed to be turning posterior, because some pelvis shapes (android) are supposedly prone to posterior babies and I felt mine might be. 

 

Thankfully this baby did end up "left occiput transverse" - a good position - and my water did not break until I was at the brink of pushing. Yay! Can't prove it was due to my efforts but I felt pretty proud. 


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Old 02-16-2014, 05:42 PM
 
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I could be wrong, but I think it's only a concern if your water breaks and labour doesn't otherwise start for a long time. My water broke with my first and I was told I had 24 hours and then they'd want to induce. 6 hours later contractions started. My fourth labour also started with water breaking. She was born 55 minutes later. My first three were all posterior.

I do wonder about depleted nutrients bein the cause of weak membranes. I had terrible hyperemesis with the two whose water broke early in labour.

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Old 02-17-2014, 08:03 AM
 
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I don't think water breaking prior to labour starting is necessarily a bad thing or sign of a problem. That's how my labour started, water broke, contractions started about 30 min-1 hr later (I'd have to check the midwife's notes), and DD was born after only 8 hrs from the start - and that was a first baby for me and her head was badly positioned. I think there are some things that can go wrong (which are more likely if water is artificially ruptured IMO) but it can also be just a variation of normal.

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Old 02-17-2014, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I gave birth to my son within 5.5 hours after my water broke, contractions were close and intense from the time they started, so I wasn't really worried about infection or pressure to induce.  Baby's position makes sense, but my son wasn't posterior.  I just got really curious after reading about nutrition and wondered if there was a connection.  I want to do what I can to strengthen the membranes this time around, because I don't want that risk if my labor isn't as quick!  Thanks for all the input.  Better go eat an orange!

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Old 03-22-2014, 10:20 PM
 
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My water broke with both my babies, then nothing for quite some time - no labor for four hours with the first, 24 hours with the second, then a strong fast healthy labor kicked in with both. My midwife assured me your body keeps making amniotic fluid after the water breaks. Was a full moon with huge tides and big swell both times, pulling on those babes of mine (both strongly full moon water babies to this day).

I didn't take much in vitamins during pregnancy either time, spectacularly durable nausea being my reality. My first was on time, my second was eleven days early. I'm not looking for blame on that point, it just felt like my labor pattern.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:59 AM
 
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Bump..this happened to me and I'm interested in why because it was awful.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:18 PM
 
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My understanding is it's mostly the risk of infection that's an issue. I don't think cord prolapse is usually an issue with a spontaneous water break. It's definitely a potential issue if your water is broken artificially when the baby isn't well down in the pelvis, but I think it is only likely to break naturally if the head is already well down. But I could be wrong. 

 

My data point is that my labor with my daughter (water broke before contractions started) was a lot rougher than my labor with my son (water broke just before pushing). "They say" that when your water is broken that removes the cushion between the baby's head and the pelvis, and makes contractions more painful. But I'm sure it varies. I do feel, though, that if anyone ever offers me an artificial membrane breakage, I will most likely say NO WAY, and if my water breaks before labor with a subsequent baby, I'll go to the hospital sooner than I did with her and get an epidural. That would have been nice to have in that first birth. 

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Old 03-23-2014, 12:42 PM
 
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I will echo what others have said about the risks of infection and induction being the concern. I have heard that labor intensifies after water breaking but haven't experienced it myself. I wonder about the nutrition idea, it would make sense in my case. My first pregnancy my diet wasn't very good, water broke prelabor and I went from 0-60 in no time but it still took 23 hours to get her out. Second pregnancy my diet was great (lots of protein & leafy greens) and baby was born in the caul after only 4-5 hours active labor.
There were other factors involved of course, but anecdotally it seems to fit.

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Old 03-23-2014, 03:38 PM
 
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Just keep fingers (even gloved hands) out of there and it's not as big of a deal if your water breaks first. The risk is infection and how it's introduced is getting cervical exams.


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