How Long Labor After Water Breaks? What To Do?

Everyone is clear that water breaking is a sign of active labor, but do you know how long after water breaks? This question will be thoroughly unraveled in the following sections.

Acknowledging this duration is important, as pregnant women can better prepare for their physical and mental conditions.

Don’t worry if you lack know-how about signs of water breaking, as this post will offer comprehensive guidance. Stay tuned!

How Long Labor After Water Breaks?

how long labor after water breaks

After your water breaks, you should go to the hospital within 24 hours to diminish the risk of infection and placental abruption.

The reason is that their amniotic sac has ruptured, so it no longer protects the fetus from risk factors.

The sac contains amniotic fluids, which are the sources of nutrients for your baby. Yet, it is very difficult to predict how much fluid your body loses.

The majority of women lose lots of fluids like a steady stream.

Interestingly, many people wait more than 24 hours – an average time of labor after water breaks – due to their health conditions and background diseases.

If you face the same issue given first pregnancies, you should be careful with the next parturition.

The longer the time between water breaking and delivery is, the greater the infection risk is.

It would be best to consult your health care provider’s advice or visit a reliable hospital or a birthing center for an overall examination, including blood tests.

What Are The Symptoms Of Your Water Breaking?

How long after your water breaks do you deliver? On the following day, you should pay close attention to various signs of water breaking.

  • The amniotic fluid starts leaking from your vagina, and you might feel uncomfortable.
  • A popping feeling pops up after a sudden gush of fluid that steams from your vagina.
  • Your underwear seems to be wet and filled with amniotic fluids in either large or small amounts.
  • Their smells are pretty odorous, and their colors are transparent or light yellow.
  • There may be some tight contractions that are followed by leaking fluid.

With these symptoms, you might have no difficulty realizing whether your water is going to break or not.

Yet, you should acknowledge the difference between amniotic fluids, urine, and vaginal discharge so you don’t mistake them. Below are a few distinctions:

  • Urine will have a yellow color, and its smell strongly resembles ammonia.
  • Amniotic fluid is clear or pale yellow. It has no odor, and the scent is pretty sweet.
  • Vaginal discharge displays milky-white hues with the consistency of thin mucous.

How Could You Feel When Your Water Breaks?

As mentioned earlier, you may experience a mild popping sensation. Yet, this feeling could turn into stronger emotions.

You may get confused or even scared of the trickle of fluid. They pour out so much that you nearly cannot control it.

Some women have described the feeling at that time as horrible. They want their fluids to stop, but amounts seem to increase when they stand up straight and move.

Sometimes, the true nightmare comes and overwhelms them with a series of contractions. This could be attributed to prodromal labor.

That means you not only face the issue of fluid leaking but also undergo pain induced by false parturition.

On the other hand, others take a more positive view on this matter. They regard fluids as a blessing because their angels are about to be born, so they are very happy.

I hope you always remain positive before, during, and after labor. The amniotic fluid is not as bad as imagined, notifying you of the upcoming delivery and facilitating childbirth.

Can Your Water Break Early?

how much time after water breaks

Absolutely yes.

Your water can break when you are not 42 weeks pregnant. Medical professionals call this phenomenon a premature rupture of membranes (PROM).

This is pretty dangerous, resulting in preterm births and fetal distress.

You must give birth within 24 hours after water breaks to diminish the risk for infections while your baby does not fully develop.

It happens to between 8 and 10 percent of pregnant women worldwide, and below are some factors heightening the preterm PROM:

  • Unhealthy habits, such as smoking, drinking many alcoholic beverages, overeating, etc., are among the main culprits.
  • You should consider your background diseases, like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
  • You are affected by strong external forces and get vaginal bleeding in the second or third stages of labor.
  • You encounter membrane rupture in the previous pregnancy.
  • Your cervix is too short.

What To Do If Your Water Breaks Before Labor?

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you’d better take a sanitary pad and wear dark-colored underwear to control excess fluids and prevent them from contaminating your clothing.

Avoid using a tampon inside your vagina at all costs, as it is sensitive and prone to infections. Then, try to calm yourself down because panicking just exacerbates your situation.

Take a deep breath, release all the tension in your body, and think positively.

During this time, contact your health care provider as soon as possible, and he will take several methods to prevent labor before due date:

  • Giving you an antibiotic medication to prevent bacterial infections.
  • Guiding you to use steroids to fasten the development of your fetus’s lungs.
  • Giving you magnesium sulfate to create optimal conditions for your fetus’s brain development.

Afterward, doctors will examine your health and decide whether to follow the birth plan or not.

If you must enter labor instantly, prepare your mentality well. Remember to take much care of your baby after giving birth because it could be weaker than a full-term baby.

How Could Midwives Check If Your Water Breaks?

average time of labor after water breaks

If your midwife suspects that your water is about to break, but she isn’t sure about that, you could offer a cervical exam.

Then, she uses a specialized plastic instrument called a speculum and inserts it into your vagina.

In this way, she can see your womb’s neck inside. You could be asked to cough, which creates forces to push water out of your cervix to the womb.

If the tool is damp after your midwife removes it from your vagina, you should be cautious, as your water will soon break. If not, everything is fine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Painful When Your Water Breaks?

No. It doesn’t hurt you much, as water breaking is just a normal phenomenon, and the amniotic sac, which stores the fluids, is not born with pain receptors.

That’s why you might not feel anything.

However, in some cases, many people assert that they feel pain. That could stem from their imagination because of worry and fear.

It would be best to boost your mentality and welcome everything when the labor induction is close.

How Much Water Comes Out When Your Water Breaks?

As presented above, there is no definite amount of amniotic fluids that leak from your vagina. Many pregnant people lose a large gush, while others just experience a bit.

When the due date approaches closely, the fluid amount decreases.

Some women say they can hold 4 cups of fluids within 37th week, and the amount goes down until 42 weeks of pregnancy.

Of course, there is still no strong evidence given by medical professionals, yet you could consider this information.

The Bottom Line

This article has provided a key to the mystery: How long labor after water breaks? 

You can delay birth delivery up to 24 hours because you will more likely get infections after this time. I wish you good luck and the best memories with your angel.

Thank you for your genuine support, and good luck for your upcoming childbirth!

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