February 2013 Moms

water breaks

In your opinion how soon should you go to the hospital when your water breaks. I am so confused. My friends say you have 12 hrs and to try to labor at home...but my husband says when it happens we need to leave...ugh. If that happens I don't want pitocin!

Re: water breaks

  • Ask your doctor - they probably have a time frame they like to stay in after your water breaks. Mine said that as long as it's clear, I should call, but can stay at home until my contractions are painful or I hit 12 hours. I also have a friend who was told to get to the hospital quickly after her water breaks. I think it's all doctor preference combined with information on your specific pregnancy.


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  • With DD1, my water broke and was told that if that happened to call the hospital. I did and they said to just make it soon so they could monitor me in the early hours.
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  • My doctor told me as soon as my water breaks go to the hospital to get checked. nurses would check & clean you to ensure you wont get an infection. then its up to you to go home & labor or stay @ the hospital. i was told you only get pitocin if your baby is over due. 

    good luck 

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  • I was told that, as long as one is GBS negative, there is no reason to rush in to L&D after ROM.
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  • Doctors would usually prefer you go to the hospital right after your water breaks,  This is mostly precautionary. If it's clear when it breaks (not brown or red) and your contractions aren't strong enough to warrant rushing it's pretty much ok to wait it out for at least a little bit.  If you have GBS you do need to go immediatly. 

    W/dd I waited about 4ish hours before heading to the hospital plus the ride there took about 2.5 hours...not a problem.

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  • W/ DD they told me to go in as soon as my water broke, but I was GBS+. My water broke the morning I was supposed to be induced (past my EDD) and, looking back, I really wish I could have hung out at home for a few more hours and waited for contractions to get started. My contractions didn't pick up enough after 3-4 hrs in L&D and they hooked me up to pitocin. This time I tested negative, so hopefully I can labor at home a while longer.


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  • The info my OB gave me says that if my water breaks, I am supposed to call the doctor and they will give me further instructions. Your OB will be able to tell you what they want you to do, so I would ask them at your next appointment.
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  • This totally depends on your provider's model of care. I see a hospital based midwifery practice and my water broke yesterday. They told me I had 24 hours to have contractions start before I had to come in. If I was seeing my old OB, I would have had 24 hours to have the baby. It just really depends.

    Also this was all based on being GBS neg and fluid being clear.


  • image DC2London:
    I was told that, as long as one is GBS negative, there is no reason to rush in to L&D after ROM.

    This.  My OB told me this word for word last week.  I think most want you to call to describe "TACO"--the time it happened, amount, color, and odor, but if all is well, there's no need to rush in.

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  • Like pp, my doctor says if you are having a vaginal deliver (not a scheduled medically necessary c-section) then as long as you are GBS negative and the fluid is clear you can labor at home until your contractions get stronger or you hit 12 hours.  He also said you can go to L&D and they will monitor you right away if you want.  Totally a personal preference.  Most of the time he said they will not send you home as you are at a higher risk of infection and so is baby once your water breaks.

    I would definitely ask your doctor his preference, as mine also told me that "rule" above is intended for babies that are head down. 

    If my water breaks I have to go immediately as I am already 3cm and 85% effaced with a footling breech.   Plus I am a scheduled c-section so they want to perform the c-section pretty quickly after my water breaks to avoid me progressing further.

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  • When my water broke with my first one, my OB said come right in. I would ask my doc what he/she thinks. Good luck!


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  • I only waited about 2 hours when my water broke with DS. My OB wanted me to deliver within 24 hours of my water breaking to minimize the risk of infection. My labor progressed very slowly (only 5 cm after 10 hours of labor) so I opted to recieve the pitocin. How long you wait to go to the hospital will have very little affect on the length of your labor and if you have to get pitocin, unless your plan is to lie about how long ago your water broke, which I doubt you would do.  

  • If you tested positive for group B strep (did I say that right?), you have to go in as soon as your water breaks, so they can start you on antibiotics. I think otherwise you've got time.
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  • I had this chat with my mw yesterday. I am gbs but she still said I can wait it out for a bit of time at home to see if things get started on their own.
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  • I had my baby on Monday. I was 6 cm then, once my water broke, I was 10 cm in less than an hour and her head started crowning. I pushed 3 times and out she came in less than 5 minutes.

    It all depends on your situation, but I'd be calling the OB right away or going straight to LD.
  • I know this sounds paranoid, but it really helps to do a little research and know what the standard here is so you can be your own advocate. I believe the standard is 12-24 hours to have labor begin after ROM. My friend's water broke (gbs- and clear fluid), she headed right into the hospital and contractions weren't picking up quickly enough. Her OB gave her only 8 hours from ROM to get the baby out (which of course didn't happen) and then wheeled her right in for a c-section. My friend is now furious that she hadn't been armed with more info. Of course, everyone's situation is different, but had she stayed home to get labor moving and questioned the time frame her OB gave her, it probably would have been a different outcome. 

  • With my daughter my water broke at 6am and I was GBS+. I called my midwife and she told me to take it easy until labour started and she would be by in the afternoon to start antibiotics. They don't have to start antibiotics right away unless you are showing signs of an infection. They do want to get at least one round of antibiotics into you 4 hours before your baby is born. My midwives said I was fine without antibiotics until I was in active labour, or if I got a fever that they would want me to have them ASAP. Really it depends on your care provider but I wouldn't be running to the hospital if I could avoid it. I'm sure if I had gone to a hospital they would have been pushing something on me to start the contractions. My contractions started 6 hours after my water broke all on their own.
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  • I was told the call my doctors. When my water broke with DD I called and they said to come in after 12 hours or if contractions went to 5-1-1. I never had contractions so I went in after 12 hours and was hooked up to pitocin two hours later. I was told that unless I showed signs of fever they would let me labor as long as everything was going fine. Within 3 hours of getting the pit I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push. It was an easy labor overall and I have no complaints!
  • image Tas03:

    My doctor told me as soon as my water breaks go to the hospital to get checked. nurses would check & clean you to ensure you wont get an infection. then its up to you to go home & labor or stay @ the hospital. i was told you only get pitocin if your baby is over due. 

    good luck 

    I got Pitocin at 39 wks 2 days after my water broke with DD and no contractions. I wasn't overdue.

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