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  Waters break
I have a fear that my waters will break in a public place. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

Sorry! There is no way to predict the breaking of the waters, and even the second pregnancy can be completely different from the first. Before the waters break, the head of the baby is cushioned against the cervix. But once the waters break, the pressure that the head exerts on the cervix increases dramatically. This is the reason that the breaking of the waters usually brings on the labour, and breaking the waters is a method that your doctor may consider to achieve this. However the breaking of waters is no guarantee that labour will start.

The way that the waters break is controlled mainly by the position of the rupture. If it occurs high up on the uterus wall, then a slow leak will probably be experienced. The amniotic fluid can be distinguished from urine by its sweet smell. However the catastrophic flood of amniotic fluid depicted so graphically in movies is the result of the amniotic sac failing low down. The one thing you should be aware of if you have such a dramatic event, is that the umbilical cord can in rare circumstances be swept down by the fluid as the sac breaks. If you can see or feel anything that resembles the cord after your waters have broken, it is vital to get medical attention urgently. The breaking of the waters can occur at any stage of the labour, and it is not impossible for a baby to be delivered with the amniotic sac completely intact. This very unusual occurrence is considered very lucky in some cultures.

See also:

Waters break - Beginning of labour












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