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If your water breaks a little at a time when should contractions start?

It could be amniotic fluid, could be clear urine... i know i can go get checked at L&D but if it is my water breaking how long until contractions generally start? I have been having a shooting stabbing pain since this happened it was enough to soak my panty liner and panties but didn't get my skirt wet. after i emptied my bladder there was still stuff just coming out then it would stop then a little more. i put on a new pair and a new liner but haven't noticed anything in the past 15-20 min but some braxton hicks feeling contractions


Asked by Ethans_Ma at 2:46 PM on Apr. 30, 2011 in Pregnancy

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Answers (12)
  • (cont.) and couldn't be discharged. Long story short, she was born at almost 6pm Monday night. She had run out of amniotic fluid and swallowed meconium. She needed a spinal tap, was born with a 102.5 fever and had to stay in the NICU for a week. Bottom line, listen to your body and don't let the staff make you feel like an idiot.

    Answer by banana-bear at 3:44 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • The general rule of thumb is to call your doctor when you have concerns. OB docs and nurses expect to get such calls.
    You will need to go in to get tested (with a little strip of paper) if you are thinking your water broke. You'll get checked and be put on the monitor, so you'll know if you're in labor.
    Grab the phone, call the doc, and make you have someone to drive you to get checked out. Good luck!

    Answer by 6girlsrock at 2:57 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • Everyone is different. I had a friend whose water broke and she never had one painful contraction (UNUSUAL). Are you overdue? If so, the amniotic fluid slowly resorbs so when it does break it is not a gushing experience but can be a slight discharge. I had 4 children and with the 3rd, I was 2 wks overdue and my water broke and I didn't realize it due to all the normal discharge at the end and I had to wear a sanitary pad. Usually when the water breaks the contractions are more painful than before it breaks and labor is imminent - you are supposed to report to the hospital within 24 hrs after water breaks since bacteria can enter your body with a clear path up into the uterus. Good luck.

    Answer by flightless at 2:58 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • If it's amniotic fluid, it will have a sweet smell to it.

    As for when contractions will start, there isn't a good answer. They may not start for some time but if you know that you are leaking fluid, the doctor will need to check you since if your level gets too low, it can put the baby is jeapordy.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 2:56 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • While I know the general consensus would be to go get checked, it can be a bad thing to be in L&D with broken water before labor starts. I'd wait a few hours, maybe try some things to get contractions to pick up (walk, sit on an exercise ball, nipple stimulation, squatting). If you go in and your water is broken, they aren't going to want you to leave. They are also going to do a thousand vaginal exams, which will only increase your chances of infection. Then, if your contractions are still MIA, they'll hook you up to pitocin. If that doesn't work, hello OR. Don't stick anything in your vagina. Don't have sex. But hold off on going in to L&D to give your body some time to start up on its own. With my first, my water broke, an hour later ctx started (not painful, but regular). The baby was in my arms about 5 hours after my water broke.

    Answer by fancyjane at 3:01 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • Oh dear, I hate when they look at you like you're dumb!! My water broke but was just leaking at 5pm Friday night (years ago, just setting up a time line). It would come out in little spurts if I coughed. I went to TWO hospitals that both told me I was peeing on myself. *rolls eyes* Saturday went by.....still leaking. Sunday comes and I felt like I had the worst flu ever. I was lethargic, I had a fever, I wasn't eating. I started getting back pain around 11pm Sunday night. I called the hospital back and they said it was just cramps - knowing I was 37 weeks and had been leaking fluid since Friday. After I got off the phone I realized I hadn't felt my daughter move all day. I called them back and they reluctantly told me to come in. I got there and they monitored me for about an hour and were getting me ready for discharge (before the doctor even came to see me!) and the doctor came in, checked me and said I was already dilated

    Answer by banana-bear at 3:42 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • You should go get checked out

    Answer by Unique11 at 2:57 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • Some women won't start contracting on her own. With my first my water completely and it was about 15 min later before I felt any contractions.

    Good Luck!!

    Answer by ChristyW3 at 3:00 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • I have been to L&D about this once and they treated me like i was an idiot I mean if it's was leaking and not broke it should still be leaking correct? THey told me if i soak 4 pads an hour to come in. i still haven't had anymore leaking but some uncomfortable pains

    Comment by Ethans_Ma (original poster) at 3:02 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • i was under the impression if it actually just broke it would be all over the place and not just my underwear... i would think it would atleast wet my skirt, idk i had to have my water broke with my other two children

    Comment by Ethans_Ma (original poster) at 3:04 PM on Apr. 30, 2011