Never Break Your Own Water to Start Labor

Pregnancy discomfort

Can I break my own water to start labor? The answer is a resounding "No!" There is good reason that the answer is so definitive.

The Third Trimester

The third trimester is particularly challenging because you are physically uncomfortable and emotionally ready to have your baby in your arms. This difficult time can be very tiresome and the last few days of waiting can be almost unbearable. When the baby is past her due date, the emotions and discomfort just become worse. After a while, you may wonder, "can I break my own water to start labor?" to move things along.

Being nine months pregnant can be extremely difficult but labor will begin when the baby is ready under normal conditions. First, consider the dangers of breaking the waters to induce labor and then consider some things that you can do to make waiting bearable. Your doctor can guide you and, in some cases, she may induce labor if necessary.

Can I Break My Own Water to Start Labor?

Do not break your own water to start labor under any circumstances. The risks are simply too high for both your and your baby. The bag of water is the amniotic sac that is filled with fluid. The fluid surrounds, cushions, and protects the baby and serious problems can occur if the sac is broken too early:

  • Infection is among the most outstanding risks to consider if you are thinking about inducing labor yourself. Even if you sterilize an instrument to rupture the amniotic sac, the baby is at risk of exposure to infection-causing bacteria present in the area.
  • The fluid in the sac may gush out, leaving the baby unprotected.
  • Water may break but labor doesn't start, which can lead to serious complications.


In some cases, a doctor may break the water through a procedure called amniotomy. It is important to keep in mind that this is a medical procedure, not something that you can do on your own. The glaring problem with breaking your own water is the risk. In addition, there is also the considerable problem that the approach is ineffective. Amniotomy may not be effective in every case, and there may be an increased risk of having a cesarean birth.

Preparing for Labor Comfortably

If the question "Can I break my own water to start labor?" is weighing heavy on your mind, discuss your feelings with your doctor. In the meantime, consider some methods to make the last few days more bearable.

  • Use relaxation techniques to stay calm and focused. Anxiety leads to more discomfort and more anxiousness.
  • Stay busy. Anticipating the baby's arrival can be very difficult and, if you have a full schedule, you are less likely to focus on waiting.
  • Prepare for the baby's arrival. Pack your bags, decorate the nursery, or do other activities that help to welcome the baby.
  • Review the birth plan.
  • Take a walk. Walking is a great exercise for many pregnant women that may help induce labor. Discuss walking with your doctor and avoid walking if you are having a high-risk pregnancy.

Waiting for a baby's arrival isn't easy but it is critical that you avoid breaking your own water to induce labor yourself.

Read more about breaking water and labor induction.

Never Break Your Own Water to Start Labor