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what is the normal/safe length of time after your water breaks to wait to have the baby delivered?

I'm just wondering what the usual safe length of time is for dr's to wait once your water breaks before deciding to do a c-section if the baby hasn't been delivered yet? My water broke at noon on a Wednesday and the baby wasn't delivered until Friday at 1:00pm via c-section. That seems too long to me, and we had to insist at that point. I never really went into active labor on my own without the pitocin which I didn't get until late Thursday afternoon. Never really progressed completely. I was told that only one side of my uterus was contracting and that they couldn't get a read on my contractions in order to tell me when to push. I developed a high fever by late Friday morning but still the dr's waited. WHY?

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Asked by Car2400 at 11:00 PM on Aug. 12, 2009 in Pregnancy

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Answers (9)
  • Were you having vaginal exams?
    If nothing goes into the vagina, moms might be able to wait... forever, until labor begins spontaneously. Occasionally it is an infection that causes the rupture, though.
    Some wait weeks, even months. I gushed for over a week without any labor starting. Ended in a lovely out of hospital waterbirth, though! :-)
    It depends on who your health care provider s, kwim? Surgeons are more likely to perform surgery, I guess.

    Answer by doulala at 11:05 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • The same thing pretty much happened to me. Apparently my water had been leaking for a montha and I didn't know. During early labor (I was at home for that) I felt a small gush at like 3 in the morning. We went to the hospital the next morning (I was already contracting every 8 minutes) and they did an ultrasound and said I would be delivering today because I was really really low on fluid. I assumed they would start labor and if she wasn't out they would do a section because there is a huge risk of infection. Well NO....21 hours later and pushing for almost 3 she arrived...with a fever and an infection...nothing major that antibiotics couldn't fix but STILL. I didn't get it either. Why would they keep her in there so long knowing that she was probably or could get something?

    Answer by Lauren24 at 11:07 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • I've been told 18 hours...But mine went longer..Maybe the doctor's actually cared about you and didn't want to do a c section because of the health risks there is with those.

    Answer by SaraP1989 at 11:19 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • In a hospital environment with germs your not used to and potentially dangerous viruses/bugs like staph and mrsa 12 hours is normal to try and let labor start on it's own. If labor has not started after 12 hours then they'd most likely induce with pitocin and give you another 12 hours to labor. As long as there were no signs of infection ,i.e. fever, they might let you go longer.

    Now if you were left in your own environment, with nothing put in your vagina, you stayed very well nourished and hydrated, and there were no signs of infection you could easily wait days or even weeks with no problems.

    I don't know the statistics but it makes sense to me that you and the baby have as much risk, if not more, of getting an infection with a c-section as with laboring with your water broken.

    Answer by jupiter84 at 11:38 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • my water broke and they didnt deliver my son until 60 hrs later. they did it because i was 6 weeks early and they had to give me steroid shots for his lungs and it takes a certain amount of time for the steroid shots to work, so they had to wait that time. while they were waiting, they tried to induce me, but it didnt work so i had to have a csection. and by that time my son already had an e-coli infection, but he came out breathing on his own and they gave him antibiotics for a week and hes doing great now.

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 12:31 AM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • My water broke at 430 am and I was told they would not wait longer than 24 to deliver.
    I never went farther than 5cm and she was face up! I should have known she would test me the
    rest of her life!!!
    By 730 pm I was having a c-section. I think I would have been freaking out if they made me wait that long. Glad all worked out.

    Answer by wallmom1 at 12:08 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • As long as there are no vaginal exams, anything inserted into the vagina, and you're not running a fever, you should be able to safely go with your water being broken for quite a long time. I've personally known a couple who's wife went 2 weeks with a slow leak. Stay hydrated so your water replenishes itself and watch for signs of infection and you should be good.

    But it really depends on your HCP. Some are more quick to jump the gun and order an unnecessary c-section (like mine did after only 2 ours *gags*) and others are more hands off and will wait until your body starts labor on it's own.

    Answer by NDFanatik at 2:28 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • I was having exams. They kept checking me every so often to see how far I had dilated. And I was also positive for group B strep and was put on antibiotics for that. I don't think the section was unnecessary...I'm concerned that they waited too long to finally do one. My son has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and I am wondering wether them waiting so long to deliver him once my water broke and it became clear that I was not going to be able to progress, may have contributed to this. Every one I talk to asks me why on earth they let me go for 48 hours like that! It doesn't seem right. I wish I had known better at the time.

    Answer by Car2400 at 2:56 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

  • As long as there are no signs of infection and you keep all foreign objects out of your vagina (and this includes your doctors hands) there is no reason why it should be a c-section. There shouldn't be a set amount off hours at all.

    Answer by Cynthje at 3:54 PM on Aug. 13, 2009

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