How to Break Your Water

You’ve been pregnant for what seems like years, but in fact, it’s only been nine months. You are anxious to get things moving and you heard that you may be able to do your part. Do you know how to break your water? Sometimes a physician or even a midwife might try to encourage the mom-to-be to do this to start the labor process. It should be done by a healthcare professional, but here are some tips on how to get your water to break a little faster.

How to Break Your Water

1. Ask Your Doctor to Strip Your Membranes

While this sounds both nasty and invasive, it is really only asking him or her to move the amniotic fluid sac from the sides of the uterus. What will happen next is the uterus will become irritated and contractions will begin to start anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days after this happens. Sometimes your water may even break by the time you get home.

2. Walk It Off

Besides being a great form of exercise, walking is another way that you can try to help things along when you are trying to learn how to get your water to break. When you walk, and just about 30 minutes at a time is all you need, the baby will begin to move down into the birth canal. This may cause your water to break and get the contractions started. Make sure you don’t overdo it even though you are anxious to give birth.

3. Have Sexual Moves

If you are still wondering how to break your water you could try having sex. If you took number one to heart and had the doctor strip your membranes having sex just might do the trick. Having sex won’t hurt your baby but you shouldn’t have sex after your water breaks. You could be putting your baby in danger if any bacteria were to enter into the uterus.

4. Nipple Stimulation

Stimulating your nipples has been a pretty effective way of getting labor started. When you roll the nipples and the areola using your forefinger and your thumb it mimics the motion that a baby makes when they are nursing. Many people think that this method is as effective in getting labor started as using Pitocin.

5. Foods That May Help Break Your Water

These methods have actually no medical basis and are more regarded as old wives’ tales but they are listed here in case they may work for you.

  • Spicy foods: Eating spicy foods can upset your bowels enough to get the uterus to begin contractions. But the capsaicin can cancel out the effects of endorphins making labor extra painful.
  • Pineapples: Many people think a woman shouldn't eat pineapples throughout her pregnancy until the end when she wants to get into labor. It is said that it ripens the cervix and helps the body to make more prostaglandins which helps to induce labor.
  • Evening primrose oil: It is believed that the components of this herb evolve into prostaglandins which can cause your water to break and start the process of labor. At 36 weeks of pregnancy, take two 500 mg capsules; at week 38, increase to 3 or 4 capsules each day.

6. Amniotomy

If you have tried everything and you are still wondering how to break your water, you may opt for an amniotomy. An amniotomy is where the doctor or midwife actually breaks your water for you. If your water hasn’t broken and you have started labor but it has slowed down, having your water broken may help to get it back up to speed. They use a special tool that will pierce the membrane and let the fluids flow out of the protective membrane. The baby is checked directly afterward to make sure that it has not been affected by the stress.

Things to Keep in Mind

Ok, so you are near the end of your pregnancy and you are tired of feeling fat and tired! You are constantly wondering how to break your water and you are feeling more and more anxious and desperate. But however anxious you are, there're things that you must know about water breaking to make sure you and your baby's health.

  • Once the amniotic sac is broken only 10% of pregnant women begin labor.
  • There are risks involved once the water has broken. When the water has broken and labor has not begun it is called the premature rupture of membranes, or PROM. Special attention must be paid to prevent any infections or complications.
  • Once the water has broken it may cause a more painful and difficult labor. The amniotic sac helps to support baby’s head and without it the head may be forced into the pelvis area.
  • Another side effect of your water breaking too early is cord prolapse which can be dangerous.

If your water hasn’t broken and you are in labor, don’t worry, it will most likely happen on its own right before you are ready to deliver. Look at it as a form of protection for your baby, so don't try to rush it. Even if your doctor wants to break your water if you choose to let it happen naturally, you don’t have to have it done.

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