Posted by: babybumper | March 2, 2011

Water Break: Rupture of Membranes

“When will the doctor come and break my water?”
“Really, I am in labor? But my water didn’t break!”
“Why am I still leaking?”
“My water never breaks on its own, the doctor always has to do it.”
“Does it hurt when your water breaks?”
“Is my baby ok even though my water broke?”
“I think my water broke, should I go to the hospital?”

Although most people know that “water breaks” before a baby is born, that may be all that most people know! Questions abound about this Breaking of Water.

What will it feel like when my water is broken?

Different women have different sensations when the water breaks; I have heard many descriptions:

“I felt a pop, then a big gush of fluid.”
“I stood up, and felt a little trickle, then I took a few steps, and it trickled some more.”
“I thought maybe I peed on myself, but then it kept coming.”
“It was a lot more liquid then I expected!!”

Where does the water come from?

Actually, it is the baby’s urine (eww). So the water keeps coming, as the baby pees (and you know babies pee often!). So if your water breaks, it will continue to leak until you deliver. This is a great thing to keep in mind if you wonder if your water is broken. If it is, you will continue to leak, when you cough, or move around.

When does the water usually break?

In 90% of labors, contractions begin and labor starts before the water is broken. Normally, the “water will break” far along in labor, near 10 cm. Keeping the water balloon whole for that long actually has a purpose!

The Purpose of the Water

The next few posts I want to prove to you that the water is not in the way of a baby being born, it is actually there to help the baby birth safely. It should not, therefore, be viewed as an obstacle, but a helpful aid in achieving an optimal delivery. Artificial Rupture of Membranes, aka, someone breaking your water, is not usually beneficial to a healthy delivery. The water helps in 3 main ways:

  1. a cushion to protect the baby from physical harm
  2. a barrier from bacteria to prevent infection
  3. a cushion to decrease painful sensations for mom

I am curious, what tales have you heard about water breaking? Any old-wives’ tales? Any great stories? Any common questions or misconceptions?



  1. […] should be taken seriously. Keeping that Hazmat suit whole, or not letting a healthcare provider break your water, can help guard your sterile, clean baby from bacteria and toxins during labor. Breaking […]

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