What does it feel like when your water breaks? This important question is more difficult to answer than it may seem. While the expression, "My water broke!" is commonly associated with the onset of labor, the event is often less dramatic and far more subtle.
What Does it Feel Like When Your Water Breaks?
Many women automatically expect to feel a warm gush of fluid when their water breaks. This dramatic gush is among the most well known pregnancy labor signs. Unfortunately, this type of dramatic occurrence happens infrequently and it is important to recognize subtle signs of the bag of waters rupturing. This can be challenging because the amniotic fluid is clear and it has no odor. In addition, different circumstances lead to different experiences.
Water breaking may feel like:
- A warm gush of fluid that is unquestionable
- A popping sensation followed by a gush or a trickle of fluid
- Feeling as if you have lost control of your bladder
- A slow, steady trickle of warm fluid
- An intermittent trickle of warm fluid
Note that the leakage is uncontrollable whether it is a gush or a slow trickle. Detecting a rupture in the amniotic sac can be challenging in certain situations. A woman's sac may rupture while she is in the shower, already feeling warm water. She may experience the water breaking while she is urinating, which can make the trickle of fluid difficult to detect.
How Do You Know When Your Water Breaks?
The uncontrollable passing of fluids may seem as if they should be readily apparent, but they can be mistaken for other vaginal fluids or urine leakage. If you experience any of the signs that water may have broken, it is necessary to call your doctor immediately, even if you are not having other signs of labor or you are not near the due date.
A doctor or nurse can determine if the liquid is amniotic fluid by doing a simple test. Amniotic fluid is alkaline and it can be detected using a piece of nitrazine paper, a tool that measures pH levels. The medical professional puts a few drops on the paper to see if the fluid is alkaline. A physician may also do an exam to see if there is any pooling of fluid in the vagina.
The signs may be obvious in many cases, but they can also be questionable. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is better to follow up on a possible rupture than ignore any signs of leakage, even if it turns out that the membranes didn't break.
The Onset of Labor
Preparing for a labor and delivery is a process that begins at the onset of pregnancy and preparing early can be helpful. The question "what does it feel like when your water breaks?" is important but it shouldn't be overwhelming. This telltale sign that labor is eminent is one that can be a great source of stress for anyone in close proximity. Read about what to do when your water breaks and when labor starts to help create a plan of action.