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Risk factors to having your doctor break your water?? Please help!

Posted by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 4:34 PM
  • 16 Replies

So I'm 40 weeks and 3 days 70% effaced and 3.5 cm dialated, The doctor said they typically induce labor at 41 weeks which is this friday for me. I don't want to be induced cause I'm afraid of the risk factors like having a C Section but she also said that because I'm effaced to 70% that my cervix is favorable and I have a very low risk of complications if I were to be induced. They told me you can have your water broken without pitocin but I'm wondering what the risk factors are of having your water break by the doctor? Anyone??

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 4:34 PM
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by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 4:35 PM



I'm pregnant with my first,

not sure about any risks but my sister was induced and they broke her water.

6 hrs later she pushed out her baby :)

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 4:36 PM

After they break your water, you have 24 hours to have the baby before they send you in for a c-section (do to the possibility of infection). However, if you really don't want the induction and the baby and you are both safe right now, you can absolutely decline. I went to 43 weeks before my daughter had a distressed heart rate. We induced and she was born happy and healthy, 7lbs 10oz.  Are you and the baby in any medical danger?

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 4:57 PM


by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Have you tried getting your membranes stripped? I didn't want to get induced with my daughter.. and I was almost exactly what you are now.. I was 40 weeks, 3 days and 3 cms dilated.. My midwife stripped my membranes then I went walking, and labor started a couple of hours later..

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 5:11 PM

I've had three babies, and each time I got induced .. They broke my water, the first one was a 5 hour labor, second was 3 hour labor, and my last one I just had was a 1 hr 45 minutes :)

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 5:55 PM

The risks with AROM are, infection, cord prolapse, c-section due to non-progressive labor, uterus hyperstimulation... 

This is a better option than pitocin but I wouldn't allow it.  If your water is in tact there is a reason and breaking it can cause issues.  

First time moms will usually go into labor 41 weeks 3 days so why not wait until then and see if you have labored.  You are not truly due until 42 weeks.  

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 6:33 PM

There is no reason to induce so no matter the route, it increases unnecessary risks.  

Just because a doctor is used to something doesn't make it safe(r) for you.
Just because your cervix is "more favorable" doesn't mean you have a reason to do it...

Most of us prefer not to add unnecessary risks, if you feel this way, too, you can opt out.   It is elective.  
If you have questions ask more of your doctor~~

A due date is a mid-point in the average estimated due period  (of 38-42 weeks).    It's not an "expiration date."      Just a mid-point.  


The knowledge of how to give birth without outside intervention lies deep within each woman. Successful childbirth depends on an acceptance of the process. ~Suzanne Arms

A healthy woman who delivers spontaneously performs a job that cannot be improved upon.

Women's bodies have their own wisdom, and a system of birth refined over 100,000 generations is not so easily overpowered.      ~Sarah Buckley

Birth is a process that probably lasts about a month or more, when
you think of how the baby works his/her way into position, mom's body
prepares with the uterus thickening at the top and thinning at the
bottom and the cervix prepares itself to dilate for the final pushes in
this process. It is such an amazing, divine plan and in this day and age
so easily disturbed�possibly as never before. I think induction,
possibly in any form, can disrupt this plan, interrupting the baby's
process of positioning and getting ready to be born. As Carla Hartley
says, "Birth is safe, interference is risky."

Just as a woman’s heart knows,

How and when to pump,

Her lungs to inhale,

And her hand to pull back from fire,

So she knows when and how to give birth.

- Virginia Di


by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 6:33 PM


Excerpted from Birth as an American Rite of Passage


Artificial Rupture of the Membranes (Amniotomy)


Description and Official Rationale


Amniotomy is frequently performed on women who labor in hospitals for the purpose of speeding up their labors, or for insertion of the internal electronic fetal monitor; occasionally it is performed so that the physician can take fetal blood samples, and/or ascertain whether or not there is evidence of meconium staining (fetal bowel movement), which under the technocratic model is considered to be indicative of fetal distress. The procedure is simple: a hospital attendant inserts an instrument like a crochet hook through the cervix, and snags and breaks the amniotic sac.


Physiological Effects


In a review of the literature, McKay and Mahan find that, if amniotomy is not performed and membranes are allowed to rupture spontaneously, most women will have intact membranes until they are either in very active labor or reach complete cervical dilation (1983:173). Although amniotomy does indeed often result in speedier labors (if performed once active labor is well-established), it also increases the danger of fetal infection from vaginal exams and/or inserted instruments. (Such infections can of course be cured with antibiotics, but that process can mean considerable discomfort and many extra days in the hospital, as several of the women in my study discovered.) Should false labor be mistaken for real labor, and amniotomy be performed too early, the 24-hour rule will be invoked, and pitocin induction with all its attendant hazards will be required (this particular complication can be avoided if amniotomy is performed only after 5-6 centimeters dilation is reached).


A further hazard of amniotomy is that without the protective cushion of the amniotic fluid the baby's head is subject to greater pressure during contractions, and the umbilical cord is more likely to become compressed, resulting in oxygen deprivation and consequent respiratory distress. Cord prolapse is also more common after amniotomy (Pritchard and MacDonald 1985:289). Moreover, unruptured membranes often cushion not only the fetal head but also the mother's perineum, allowing for more gentle stretching and reducing the likelihood of tears. The combination of rupture of the cushioning bag with pitocin-augmented contractions often leads to more rapid and forced stretching of the perineum and so to more tears (Brigitte Jordan, personal communication).


(ACOG)....Complications associated with artificial rupture of membranes include an increased risk of prolapsed cord and/or cord compression; a commitment to delivery within a narrow window of time; rupture of vasa previa; and increased risk of intrauterine infection (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 1999).

Obstetrical interventions — Obstetrical intervention may result in iatrogenic UCP(Umbilical Cord Prolapse). The evidence for causation of cord prolapse with obstetrical interventions is conflicting and it is often difficult to determine whether UCP would have occurred spontaneously if the intervention had not been performed [11] . The purported mechanism for UCP in this setting involves disengagement of the fetal head during the intervention with a high outward flow of amniotic fluid, which carries the umbilical cord with it. Author
Victoria Belogolovkin, MD
Melissa Bush, MD
Keith Eddleman, MD
(January 4, 2008)
this one is from ACOG:;jsessionid=LG0pSnmKLYKGyVTpzFm3sb3JPKngV006hys5d9SQ5XwBW9nJyLJK!446770951!181195629!8091!-1

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 8:15 PM

If they break your water before the baby is fully engaged the umbilical cord can come through the cervix and pressure from the baby's head can be put on it, causing distress.  I would ask about having your membranes stripped instead, jmo.

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 8:22 PM

soooo... is the doctor breaking the water bag considered induction??? With DD, I went through a slow progression of labor (14 hrs going from 1-4 cm) so they offered to break my water or give me something to sleep. I didn't want any meds, so I had them break my water. After that, I went from 4-10 in 2 hrs and pushed for 20-30 minutes and she was out...

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