Q&A: What Should I Do if My Water Breaks?

Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question, What should you do when your water breaks?

Question

When you're pregnant and your water breaks, do you need to go to the hospital immediately?

Answer

Yes! Some women believe that if their contractions have not started, it is safe to wait at home until their labor begins. However, doctors are concerned when this occurs and their patient stays at home because of the risk of infection and because of the risk of the condition known as cord prolapse. Rarely, the cord can drop through the cervix, a potentially very serious situation for the baby.

So once the water bag breaks, it is very important to go to the hospital so the doctor can check the health of the pregnancy and proceed with assisting labor, if necessary, to minimize the time of labor and the risk of infection. Complications are rare, but it is still important to check in at the hospital.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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