Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, Gynaecologist and Infertility Specialist, SCI Healthcare shares her views on what happens when a pregnant woman’s water bursts

During pregnancy, the baby is surrounded by water in the womb which is known as amniotic fluid.

It is enclosed in a membranous layer known as amniotic membrane which acts as a barrier. This fluid is very important for the protection of the baby as it acts as a shock absorber and maintains an even temperature. The amount is around 600 ml at term pregnancy.

  1. “Water bursts” means breaking of this membrane and leaking of the fluid which happens prior to or at the onset of labour. It may also occur early in pregnancy which is abnormal and medical attention should be immediately sought. The membranes can rupture spontaneously at term by themselves or can be ruptured artificially by the doctor.

  2. It is colourless during early pregnancy but towards term it becomes pale straw coloured. It is odourless and the feel is just like water. The colour may be green due to meconium (baby’s faeces) which implies that the baby is in distress which is an alarming sign. At times, one is confused whether the leaking fluid is amniotic fluid or vaginal discharge for which pads are available that change colour to show the nature of fluid.

  3. If water bursts at the onset of labour, one will feel abdominal cramps but if there is leaking in early pregnancy or prior to labour one may just complain of leakage of watery fluid leading to soakage of clothes. This leaking may be either in the form of a trickle or less commonly in the form of gush of fluid coming out. Few may not even be able to differentiate between leaking of water and urine.

  4. Whenever a woman experiences burst of her water bag, she should not panic. She should apply a sanitary pad and check the color of the fluid .The woman should avoid too much movement to prevent loss of fluid. She should sit and contact her doctor. The woman should take plenty of fluids orally. She should immediately be taken to the hospital and the treating obstetrician should attend to her. An examination is done and accordingly further management is carried out.
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  1. Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour
    and her team at
    SCI IVF Hospital
    gave us our precious little baby girl and I wanted to thank you and the SCI IVF Hospital for the dream gift you gave my wife and I but also as a message to all the people out there who have suffered years of pain and doubt they will ever become parents.

    Thanks to
    Dr. Shivani
    for our dream come true. You are god .

    Happy American Couple


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