How Will I Know if my Water Breaks?

When a woman is pregnant, her baby grows inside a sac of fluid called the amniotic sac. As she gets closer to having her baby, this sac might break, and this is what people call “water breaking.” Knowing when this happens is important because it often means that the baby is coming soon. Here are some signs that a woman might notice when her water breaks:

  1. Feeling a Gush or Leak: The most common sign is feeling a sudden gush of fluid. This can feel like a big splash or just a small trickle. Some women feel a lot of water come out at once, while others feel a slow, steady leak. The fluid is usually clear or slightly yellow and doesn’t have a strong smell.
  2. Wet Underwear or Clothes: If a woman’s water breaks, she might notice that her underwear or clothes are wet, even if she didn’t feel a gush. This can be confusing because it might feel like she accidentally peed a little. One way to tell the difference is that amniotic fluid usually keeps leaking, while urine might stop after a moment.
  3. Constant Wetness: Unlike other types of discharge that might come and go, amniotic fluid often keeps coming. If a woman feels wet all the time or keeps needing to change her underwear, it might be her water breaking.
  4. Change in Activity: Sometimes, a woman might notice the fluid more when she changes positions. For example, if she stands up after lying down, she might feel a trickle of fluid.

If a woman thinks her water has broken, she should let her doula know. It’s important to get checked to make sure everything is okay with her and the baby. Sometimes, the doctor might want her to come to the hospital to be sure.

It’s also good to remember that not all women have their water break before labor starts. Some women might have their water break after they are already having contractions. If a woman is unsure, it’s always best to check with her healthcare provider.