Question

Labor Symptoms & Pregnancy

What does it mean if my amniotic fluid is not clear?

A Answers (2)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    If your water breaks and your amniotic fluid is yellow, green, or bloody fluid, your provider will likely tell you to go to the hospital. That's because there may be meconium (fetal stool—yes, they make it while inside the womb) in your amniotic fluid, signaling that the child may be in distress. But at some point prior to going into labor, you may also pass blood-tinged thick mucous (think of it as a cork in a bottle of wine). Doctors call this the bloody show; it looks a lot like phlegm.

    This doesn't necessarily mean you're in active labor—in fact, it can occur up to a week before labor begins. A bloody show is generally a positive sign that your cervix is dilating and does not require you to call your doctor. If you tested positive for group B strep, there is a higher chance that this bacteria can find its way into and infect the uterus now that the water is broken, since the sterile sac has been compromised.

  • ADeborah Raines, MSN, Nursing, answered on behalf of Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)

    Amniotic fluid is a colorless or pale yellow, non-odorous fluid that cushions the fetus during pregnancy. Sometimes small amounts a mucous strands from the mucous plug are seen, but in general the amniotic fluid will be clear. Any change in the color or odor of the amniotic fluid may be a sign of a potential problem. Some potential color alterations and the possible etiology are:

    • Red: bleeding - often from the placenta
    • Dark red: hemolized blood – often associated with fetal hemolytic disease
    • Green: passage of fecal material - often associated with intrauterine fetal stress
    • Yellow (dark/golden): presence of bile – associated with either hemolytic disease or the presence of old fecal material
    • Brown particles: Recent passage of meconium

    Any of these situations need to be immediately reported to the physician.

Did You See?  Close
What does it mean when your "water breaks?"