Your baby is surrounded by what is known as bags of water. This water cushions your baby and protects him or her in the womb. When it is time for you to deliver, your bags of water will break. Many women refer to this as their water breaking, which is technically correct. It is a sign that labor is impending and that your baby should arrive within a matter of hours. Once you reach your final few weeks of pregnancy, your bags of water can break anytime. If you have reached the 37th week of pregnancy and you wonder what your pregnant water leaking means, you should take it as a sign that you should contact your obstetrician and head to your preferred medical facility.
Once your water breaks, you can have a matter of hours before your baby is delivered. If you have had more than one baby, you could only have a matter of minutes to make it to the hospital before you go into active labor. Many women prefer to be admitted to the hospital when their water breaks simply because they will be leaking water and they would prefer to be sitting or lying on Chux pads rather than standing up or sitting in a car. They understand that when their water breaks that their babies no longer have the cushioning protection that kept them safe from infection. When expectant moms are checked into the hospital and under the careful watch of a midwife or doctor, they often feel better about their babies being monitored for signs of infection or distress.
While the 37th week technically is past the nine-month mark of pregnancy, it is still technically categorized as prematurity. Your baby’s lungs will just be on the verge of maturity and perhaps even a little undeveloped. Your little one could require monitoring in the NICU for a few hours or even a day or two after delivery if delivered at this early full-term mark. A stay in the NICU particularly will be necessary if the delivery staff noticed that your water was green prior to the baby being delivered. Green pregnant water leaking means that your baby inhaled meconium and is at risk of developing pneumonia or respiratory distress.
Pregnant Water Leaking No Contractions
Even with your pregnant water leaking, it is possible that you may not experience contractions, even if you are very late in your pregnancy. Your water breaking is a separate reaction to labor starting than having contractions. As your body prepares for delivery, it begins producing a mix of hormones that starts a chemical reaction. This reaction in turn signals to your uterus that it is time to deliver. Your uterus may begin contracting by your 37th to 40th week, and sometimes even later. However, these contractions often begin separately from your water breaking.
Regardless of what stage of pregnancy you are in, you should go to the nearest hospital or see your obstetrician if your water begins leaking. If you are in the early stages pregnancy, particularly before the 20th week, your doctor may tell you that a miscarriage is imminent and that unfortunately nothing can be done to save your pregnancy. If you past the 20th week, your obstetrician will more than likely admit you to the hospital and monitor you and your baby until you reach the 32nd week. By week 32, your baby has a better chance of surviving with the least amount of premature complications. If you deliver prior to the 32nd week, your baby will be admitted to the NICU for intense medical treatments designed to help him or her survive and finish growing as if your baby were still in utero.
After your bags of water start leaking, there is no way to stop the water from eventually breaking. Even if you are leaking just a small amount, your doctor may advise you to avoid certain activities such as taking a bath, having intercourse, or using a tampon. Instead, you should allow the water to continue leaking until it finally breaks on its own. It may be best for you to be admitted to the hospital by this point so your midwife or doctor can monitor you and your baby for infection or distress.
My Pregnancy Water Is Leaking Slowly
Many first-time mothers are unsure of what to expect when their water breaks. They expect it to gush like a waterfall or explode like a water balloon, as it is often depicted in TV shows or the movies. However, in truth your water breaking seldom is a major gush that makes you panic and run for the car to be driven to the hospital. In many cases, first-time mothers experience their waters breaking with slow, inconspicuous leaks.
Sometimes mothers-to-be do not even know that their waters are leaking at all. They think that they have lost control of their bladders. As they try to stop the flow of water by flexing their bladder muscles, however, they realize that their water has broken and that they are on their way to having their babies soon. Some mothers may even purposely avoid telling their husbands or partners that their water has broken so that they can finish up last minute tasks like doing the dishes or packing a bag for the hospital.
It is also embarrassing for mothers-to-be, even those who have had babies before, to be doubted by their nurses and doctors at the hospital about their waters breaking. The medical staff will almost always ask if a new mom if she is sure that she just isn’t having bladder issues instead. Most doctors will order an examination to find out if the mother’s water is genuinely leaking or if she is having bladder control issues. As soon as they examine the mother doctors often find out with certainty that the mother’s water has broken and that she is in early stage labor and ready to have her baby.