Did My Water Break or Did I Pee Myself?
Hollywood would have us believe that every woman will be in the middle of a very public place when, all of a sudden, her water breaks right there on the floor and immediately the baby is coming out of her and she rushes off to the hospital, barely making it in time. If you have never had a baby before, you may think this is the reality.
While labor can start with the water breaking for some women (about 15%), most women will have contractions for quite some time before ever having their water break. Although very rare, some women never experience their water breaking and their baby will be born en-caul, or in their water bag. That’s right! You can have a baby without your water ever breaking!
When you think your water might have broken, make sure to pay attention to C.O.A.T., as your care provider will want to know these details.
C = color. What color was the liquid? It should appear clear or slightly cloudy, but not yellow or green. If it is yellow or green, your provider will want you to come in immediately.
O = odor. Is there a smell? There shouldn’t be a strong odor, just slightly musky.
A = amount. How much water was there? Was it a trickle or a gush? If it was just a trickle, there may be a leak in your water bag, but it may not be broken, or you could have just peed yourself, a common occurrence at the end of pregnancy.
T = time. What time did your water break? To prevent the chances of an infection occurring, your provider will want to make sure your water isn’t broken too long and knowing the exact time of your water breaking can help them keep you and your baby safe.
If you are not sure if your water broke, empty your bladder and then lay down on your side. After about 15 minutes, get up. If water has pooled in your vagina, your water has likely broken.
Check with your provider to find out how long they are comfortable with your water being broken before they want you to go to the hospital.