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Worrying about your water breaking becomes a full-time job as the due date approaches. Water breaking is necessary for your delivery to begin. Most times, it happens randomly, other times your doctor might have to artificially break the sac. You might get confused between water breaking and normal vaginal discharge. You might imagine yourself to be dripping wet, panicking and screaming just like how the movies and films showcase it. Although, when your water breaks it’s likely not going to look anything like those movies. Water breaking is associated with the breaking of an amniotic sac, before the birth of the baby. The amniotic fluid surrounds the unborn baby during pregnancy.  Some women experience a significant gush of clear fluid while others have nothing more than a sow trickle that resembles leaking urine or watery vaginal discharge. 

How To Tell If Your Water Broke? 

Here are the biggest signs that you’re experiencing your water breaking rather than vaginal discharge or urine.

  • The leaking is uncontrollable

When your water breaks, you either feel a gush of amniotic fluid, or you might only notice a slow trickle.  The amount depends on whether you have a tear or gross rupture or break. In both cases the liquid can’t be controlled, you can expect a total of about 2 to 3 cups of fluid eventually empty out of the amniotic sac. However you can reduce the mess by wearing a panty-liner or sanitary pad (never a tampon or menstrual cup) or sitting on a clean towel. 

  • It is mostly clear and odorless

Generally, amniotic fluid is odorless, although some detect a sweet smell like semen or chlorine. It is clear or sometimes slightly tinged pink with streaks of blood.

  • You feel painless pressure or popping

Some women experience pressure when their water breaks. Others hear a popping sound followed by leakage. Neither of the situations are painful. However, contractions may increase in frequency and intensity after the water breaks. 

  • It might feel like leaking urine

Water can feel like urinal discharge which is common. Although you can tell the difference between urinal discharge and water breaking. Urine has a yellowish color and smells like ammonia, while amniotic fluid is usually odorless. If you still are not sure, you can try to sit down and then stand up again, if the fluid is still trickling out, it probably indicates that your water broke. 

  • It is not sticky & thick like discharge

Both amniotic fluid and vaginal discharge are odorless, the latter generally stickier, thicker, and may look like clear or milky white mucus. Amniotic fluid is very thin and watery. Make sure you don’t confuse water breaking with losing your mucus plug, another sign of approaching labor. The mucus plug looks like bigger chunks of gelatinous, thick and yellowish-white fluid with a snotty consistency. There’s a possibility that it may also be tinged with blood. 

Is It Important For The Water To Break?

Many women have this question when they’re expecting. It is important that your water breaks before your baby can be delivered, if it doesn’t happen naturally, your gynecologist may have to artificially rupture the membrane. After your amniotic sac breaks, contractions in your womb can be delayed for a few hours. If they don’t begin within 24 to 48 hours, your doctor may have to induce labor to decrease the risk of infection. 

Sometimes your water breaks when your baby moves their head into the pelvic region in preparation for labor, which puts pressure on the membrane as they prepare for labor.

There are certain precautions to avoid contracting infections after your water breaks, that you need to take care of. Things like changing your sanitary pad every hour, whether it is wet or not, is important. It is not healthy to keep the pad in for a long period of time. 

Do not ignore the fluid in your pad, pay close attention to it. It is expected to remain clear, without an offensive smell. Although you may notice a faint pink color and mucus. It is important to wipe it clean after using the loo from front and back to avoid dragging bacteria into your vaginal canal. 

Your water usually breaks when you have reached week 39 of your pregnancy. It often occurs after labor begins, but it can also happen before. Make sure, the amniotic fluid should be clear and odorless. If your water breaks, you should call your gynecologist immediately.

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