Rupture of Membranes is generally used during pregnancy to explain the breaking of the fluid-filled sac that contains and protects the baby (amniotic sac). In colloquial language, it is known as water breaking or breaking the water. If the amniotic sac breaks before the onset of labor, it is known as premature Rupture of Membranes. Sometimes, the membranes do not rupture, and the baby is born with the sac; and this is known as en caul birth.
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What is the Rupture of Membranes?
As the day of labor approaches, your body prepares itself for giving birth. During labor, the membranes of the amniotic fluid sac rupture, and the water escapes through the vaginal opening. The breaking of membranes is an indication of getting into labor. In some cases, water breaks earlier than expected.
What are the Causes of Rupture of Membranes?
What are the Symptoms of Rupture of Membranes?
- ● Leakage
- ● It may feel like you have passed urine in your pants
- ● Slow dripping of fluid
- ● Water suddenly leaks and stops
- ● You can hear a sound or feel a small pop
When you notice yellow color fluid, it may not always indicate the Rupture of Membranes. It may be due to pressure exerted on your bladder by your baby in the amniotic sac. But, when you notice pale yellow or clear-fluid leakage, it indicates the Rupture of Membranes. It may be possible to confuse urine with amniotic fluid. However, urine has an acidic smell, and the amniotic liquid has no odor. In a few cases, the doctor may recommend induction of artificial rupture of membranes to induce labor. They usually do this when your cervix dilates slightly with the baby’s head engaged in your pelvis. For artificial Rupture of Membranes, the doctor may use a sterile plastic tool. He does this to exert pull until your amniotic sac ruptures.
What to do when your Water Breaks?
If you are at least 34 weeks pregnant, the doctor may ask you to be ready for delivery. However, in case of premature Rupture of Membranes (when you are between 24 to 34 weeks pregnant), you may be suggested to delay the delivery till your baby reaches the optimum stage of growth. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent any infections and maybe a course of steroids so that the lungs mature a little early in the baby. The premature Rupture of the Membrane may lead to fetal distress, preterm birth, etc. The babies born before 23 weeks of pregnancy with such an early water breakage may not survive, and if they do, they may likely suffer from physical or mental disabilities.