Water breaking is a phenomenon that every pregnant woman experiences. It is defined as the rupturing of the amniotic sac that releases fluid and indicates that you are entering labor. However, you may still not be experiencing labor contractions.
Yes, you read it right; it may take a few more hours for the apple of your eye to arrive finally, but it is when you should get alert and start preparing for the hospital.
If you are in the last phase of pregnancy and preparing to welcome a little angel in your life, this blog will surely help you.
Water Breaks in Pregnancy Meaning
Water breaks when the amniotic fluid rushes out through the cervix and vagina due to rupturing of membranes and sacs. As a pregnant person moves close to the delivery date and crosses the 37 weeks of pregnancy, in most cases, the baby’s head starts to move downwards to the birth canal, which puts pressure on the amniotic sac and ruptures it.
However, there isn’t anything to panic about as it marks the beginning, but reaching out to the healthcare professional for further assistance is a wise decision.
There can be several internal as well as external reasons for water breaking, and it becomes a serious issue if a woman experiences premature rupture, which means rupturing before the full term. In such cases, usually, the preterm baby is exposed to several infections as the organs haven’t fully developed and the baby’s immunity is weak. So, expectant management becomes very crucial in such a scenario.
Water Broke No Contractions Meaning
When you see that your water broke but there aren’t any contractions, it is necessary to stay calm as stress would only worsen the situation and affect your ability to make the right decision. When the amniotic sac ruptures, you may notice no other activity for a few minutes to a few hours, depending on your health and well-being.
The labor starts after some time, and you would feel a slow trickle initially, which will slowly increase in intensity as you reach the labor ward. So, there isn’t anything to worry about, but it is necessary to be vigilant and start packing the bags.
Possible Reasons for Water Breaks No Contractions
Below are some possible reasons that your water broke no contractions, which every pregnant woman should be aware of:
1. Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM)
When the membrane ruptures before the labor, it is called premature rupture of the membrane. When the fluid leaks before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is called preterm premature membrane rupture. While PROM is a common phenomenon, Should I go to the hospital if my water breaks but no contractions?
PROM is a severe condition, and you should reach the healthcare provider without any delays so that he can timely decide the further course of action after diagnosing the reason for rupture and checking the health condition of both the mother and the baby.
2. Infection or Inflammation
If you are suffering from a vaginal infection or inflammation, it can lead to amniotic sac rupture and the healthcare provider will conduct all necessary tests to analyse the infection.
This is a condition where the amniotic sac has excessive fluid accumulation during pregnancy, especially during the later stage. Even though it is rare, if your doctor has mentioned polyhydramnios in the previous check-ups, you should be vigilant and take all necessary precautions to avoid premature rupture. The excessive fluid puts extra pressure on the sac, which sometimes may lead to preterm delivery.
4. Twin Pregnancies
Delivering a twin pregnancy is excellent news for parents; however, expecting mothers should be cautious. There have been instances where the mother’s amniotic sac was unable to bear the load of two children and ruptured without any contractions. This condition, if left unattended, can pose a risk for the tiny angels and result in premature birth.
5. Trauma or External Factors
Stress and external factors are crucial during pregnancy. If you are not following a healthy lifestyle or sleep routine or have been feeling anxious for a while, it directly impacts your health and would also affect the baby’s delivery.
6. Having Poor Nutrition
Expecting mommies need to be very cautious about their diet and nutrition since the child is directly dependent on it. If you do not consume nutritious food during your pregnancy, the chances of PROM increase.
7. Previous Preterm Births
Mothers who have delivered preterm babies in the past are prone to preterm labor and may experience fluid discharge without any contractions as the delivery date comes closer.
How to Start Contractions After Water Broke
Even though your healthcare provider will take the necessary steps once you reach the hospital, here are some tips on starting labor contractions that have been used in most cases. If you are aware of these beforehand, it will become easy for you to understand and react.
- Movement and Walking: Once you know about the preterm rupture, you should not sit in one place for a long duration as this may put pressure on the baby’s head which is already close to the vaginal opening. Keep moving around slowly and take deep breaths to ensure good oxygen levels.
- Nipple Stimulation: Doctors may suggest you stimulate the nipples with your hands or use a breast pump, as this produces a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone initiates true labor and helps you stay calm during this crucial time.
- Hydration and Nutrition: When you experience prolonged ruptured membranes, ensure you sip on a liquid regularly and eat a proper meal before leaving for the hospital. It may take a few hours to childbirth, and you need energy to cope with the mental and physical stress.
- Warm Bath or Shower: Even though your amniotic sac has ruptured and there is vaginal discharge, taking a shower or warm bath can work wonders here as it relaxes your mind and body. However, you must be careful when bathing and avoid it if you feel dizzy.
- Acupressure and Massage: Massage is a natural therapeutic in every situation, and water breaking without contractions isn’t an exception. You can gently ask your partner or family member to massage or use acupressure. For example, massaging the four fingers above the ankle is believed to relieve pain and help release oxytocin for labor induction.
- Herbal Remedies: Midwives brew is a popular herbal remedy that has been used for ages and has resulted in inducing labor. It consists of ingredients like castor oil, apricot juice, lemon verbena oil, and almond butter. You should use midwives brew only after consulting your doctor to avoid complications during delivery.
- Medical Intervention: Once you reach the hospital and your doctor studies your condition, you can relax as he is the right person to deal with early labor and labor induction. He may either suggest you wait and watch in the labour ward or go ahead with medically induced labor in case he finds some baby or maternal infection. Medical intervention is also chosen if the umbilical cord is found around the baby’s neck. Usually, an IV dose of Pitocin is enough to induce labor, but it is only recommended after monitoring fetal movement and vitals.
- Relaxation Techniques: There are several ways of relaxing during pregnancy and preterm labor, like breathing exercises, meditation, and more. Some women even feel calm listening to music; hence, when your water broke no contractions, you should try to stay calm and keep stress levels and blood pressure under check as this will be very helpful during birth. You could even shortlist baby names that you would love to keep once the little angel arrives in this world safe and sound.
What To Do When Water Broke No Contractions?
If you are less than 37 weeks pregnant and the water broke no contractions, you should not wait and visit the healthcare expert for the best possible experience. If your doctor hasn’t discussed any infection in the last routine check-up, you can wait up to 24 hours after the water breaking, known as expectant management. However, once more than 24 hours have passed, but there still aren’t any contractions, you should go to the hospital immediately as it can be risky for the baby.
How do you tell if your water broke or you peed?
Most women can differentiate between water breaking and peeing since the amniotic fluid has no color or Odor, while pee is yellowish and smells. If your amniotic sac ruptures, you will not be able to control the leakage of amniotic fluid. Sometimes, the fluid leaks with a slow trickle, so every woman should be watchful during pregnancy as they proceeds to full-term birth.
What causes water break without contractions?
There are several reasons for prelabor rupture, of which Polyhydramnios, poor nutrition during pregnancy, excessive stress or anxiety due to external factors and infection are some common causes. Therefore, it is crucial for every pregnant person to be happy, eat healthy and try relaxation techniques for good mental health, ensuring that chances of complications during birth are reduced significantly.
Is it normal not to have contractions after water breaks?
Many moms-to-be experience premature rupture without any contractions, and it is normal even until 24 hours until the doctor hasn’t diagnosed any infection or health complications during routine check-ups. Women who have had a normal, trouble-free pregnancy period can face this issue in the end, and therefore, they must be aware of the causes as well as steps to take.
What if contractions start later?
During prelabour rupture, the amniotic sac ruptures and there aren’t any contractions which frighten mommies-to-be, but it is essential to know that contractions may soon start, and you may enter active labor, so the best approach is to connect with the doctor and head to the hospital for the best advice.
How to speed up labor after water broke?
There are several ways to induce labor and speed it up, which expecting mothers can adopt, like walking, midwives brew, nipple stimulation, massage, etc. However, if you have already reached the hospital as soon as the water broke, your doctor will induce active labor with the help of a Pitocin injection that will be administered via IV. In some cases, this medicine is also used for artificial rupture and is suggested only when there aren’t any threats to the baby.
Undoubtedly, water broke no contractions is a frightening situation for expecting women, their partners and family members.
Still, awareness about its causes and consequences can allow you to handle the situation better, which helps keep your physical and mental health good. It is advisable to seek medical help if you aren’t able to analyse the situation and make the right decision.