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Breaking your water


Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  #1  
May 16th, 2007, 06:31 PM
LittleWhiteside's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I have semi-introduced myself in other threads and popped in from time to time but I'm getting closer to delivery and I have questions coming up so here goes...

I was writing my birth plan today and it had a section about wether I would like my water to be 'manually' broken to get labor progressing. I know a lot of doctors like to do this. I have a midwife, I'm not really sure how she feels about it. I guess it would be a good idea to ask. Anywho, is it good or bad for the natural childbirth process to have them break your water? Should I just wait until it does it on its own or will it help move things along if they do it for me? Does it cause more pain one way or the other? I would really appreciate your input ladies!
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  #2  
May 16th, 2007, 06:50 PM
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Hey there

Generally speaking it's best to let the water break naturally. Breaking it too early can increase your risk of infection, cord prolapse, and if you're at a hospital it starts the clock ticking (they only let you go a certain amount of time after the water breaks) and therefore can increase your chance of a cesarean.

It can speed up labor for some women though. Your midwife should let you know if she feels it should be done.

For me personally, my water ended up being manually broken at 10cm because they could no longer hear the baby's heartbeat (with DD1) and the midwife wanted to put a fetal monitor on her head. I dont' know for sure if it was because of the water being broken or if it was just because I was at the "end" but my contractions got a LOT worse after they broke it. But since it was so late in the game, I only had to deal with the extra pain for like 10 minutes.
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  #4  
May 16th, 2007, 09:10 PM
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I would say that its best not to have your water broken to speed labor along. Most cases, it will not speed anything up. Once your water is broken, you are on a time limit. You have to deliver within 24 hours or c/s is brought up. Even with most good midwives they will want to start moving things along if you havent delivered within the time period after having your water ruptured.

I did have my water broken when I was laboring with my son. I was fully dilated though, and ready to deliver. I had already been pushing and it was bulging so we broke it at that point. He came really quick after that.
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  #5  
May 17th, 2007, 12:05 AM
*PurpleMidnight*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My waters were broken both times with my boys and I was fully dilated, I hate to think how muh longer I would of been waiting as I was waiting long enough once I was fully dilated
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  #6  
May 17th, 2007, 06:18 AM
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I think it's a bit different when the water bags are broken when you are fully dilated as compared to only 5cm or so.

Generally speaking, it's best to have as little intervention as possible. No need to rush labor, it will be done in it's own time. Breaking the waterbags only speeds labor up by about 30 minutes on average. I think the con's of all the possible risks of breaking the waterbag outweighs the pro's of speeding labor by 30 minutes.
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  #7  
May 17th, 2007, 06:27 AM
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IMO, it's a gamble. If the baby's position is perfect, it can be great. It makes contractions more intense, but also helps you dilate quicker and speeds labor. Even so, statistics show that delivery is only an average of 15 minutes faster when the water is artificially broken.

There's also a down-side. If your labor is prolonged, the risk of infection increases after your water breaks. (Best to avoid vaginal checks unless absolutely necessary.) I was present when my SIL had her first child. After 10 hrs of labor, they broke her water. The baby's position was posterior but they didn't know that at the time (can't tell that early in labor--she was only 4 cm). Her contractions became more intense, but the baby's head also got more tightly wedged in the wrong position. By some miracle, the hosp allowed her push for 5 horrific hrs and she escaped a c-section. When he was finally born, she not only tore laterally but also vertically--all the way up the length of her vagina to her cervix. It took a surgeon (not a reg OB) more than an hr to stitch her up. I've always suspected that the baby would have turned if he still had the cushion of water around his head to help. Instead he got wedged in wrong and turned as he was coming out. Of course, we'll never know for sure, but I suspect her labor would have been significantly SHORTER if she didn't have her water broken.
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  #8  
May 18th, 2007, 10:00 PM
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Thank you all so much for the advice! It really helped me know what to ask for and decide what I want.

Any opinions on stripping membranes? My midwife says she does it and would do it if I wanted. I'm just not sure that he need to be rushed? Does it change things if you bring on labor that way?
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  #9  
May 19th, 2007, 10:54 AM
*:Onei*Chan:*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Stripping the membranes is a "natural" form of induction and I would definitely go that route before I would go with chemical induction. But, it doesnt always work. It doesnt usually work from what I understand. There is a risk for infection when the membranes are stripped, and there is also a risk of accidentally rupturing the membranes. That being said, its not something that I myself would be totally against but not at 37 weeks. Not even at 38 or 39. I would perhaps opt for a stripping at 40 or 41 weeks. At my 40 week appointment with my son (my MW would not strip until the 40th week) My MW asked if I would like her to do it. I said sure, why not. I had already had a labor once that stalled because of the baby's position and on top of that I was 4cm dilated already. She went to do it but said that it wasnt necessary. My cervix and bag of waters were already loose from eachother. She went ahead and inserted a couple thousand mg of EPO through my cervix so they sat on my BOW. Even with this I didnt deliver until a week later. Its a very personal choice, but I would try to wait until the due date.
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  #10  
May 19th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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my water broke to start labor with my oldest, and when I compare the pain level of the contractions, it hurts less to contract around a bag of waters than it does to contract around a baby. So my vote is to wait for the water to break on its own if possiblem, because it hurts less... along with the other good reasons like avoiding the ticking clock of c section and risk of infection.
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  #11  
May 19th, 2007, 02:21 PM
LittleWhiteside's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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She said she would strip the membranes at around 39wks but only if I had showed progress. I feel like it kinda rushing the process. If its natural then does it make a difference since babies are full term at 37wks?
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  #12  
May 19th, 2007, 03:26 PM
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Its still pushing you towards going into labor and I am not one to believe that babies are "full term" at 37 weeks. They can survive outside the womb with little to no complications, but it doesnt mean they are ready. There are reasons that we go into labor when we do, otherwise we wouldnt.
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  #13  
May 22nd, 2007, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
I would say that its best not to have your water broken to speed labor along. Most cases, it will not speed anything up. Once your water is broken, you are on a time limit. You have to deliver within 24 hours or c/s is brought up. Even with most good midwives they will want to start moving things along if you havent delivered within the time period after having your water ruptured.

I did have my water broken when I was laboring with my son. I was fully dilated though, and ready to deliver. I had already been pushing and it was bulging so we broke it at that point. He came really quick after that.[/b]
W/DD, I went "into labor" but was not dilated at all when I got to the hospital (5-10 min apart contx's). They broke my water about 3 hours after I arrived but labor was NOT progressing. I wasn't doing much of anything. ho ho hum LOL
anyway....It couldn't have sped things up much since I still didn't deliver until 9:24 the next morning. HOWEVER< contrary to alot of the other stories, I was not dilated much even when they broke my water, but I was also not in any heavy labor either. I had contractions, but they were not strong ones. I think to say that you risk the chance of infection would be if you were dilated and still did not deliver after the water was broken. But that is JMO and I'm not certain of that. My water was broken with DS as well, but I cannot remember alot about labor with him.....delivery was simply Epidural-ly blocked and I didn't feel ANYTHING-didn't like that at all.
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  #14  
May 23rd, 2007, 10:28 AM
LittleWhiteside's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Yeah I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna let me water break on its own unless I'm fully dilated and ready to push. Thank you so much for all of your advice!
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  #15  
May 23rd, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Yeah I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna let me water break on its own unless I'm fully dilated and ready to push. Thank you so much for all of your advice![/b]
w2g!
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