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How will I know when my water breaks?

It is not always easy to know. If your water breaks, it could be a gush or a slow trickle of amniotic (AM-nee-OT-ihk) fluid. Rupture of membranes is the medical term for your water breaking. Let your doctor know the time your water breaks and any color or odor. Also, call your doctor if you think your water broke, but are not sure. An easy test can tell your doctor if the leaking fluid is urine (many pregnant women leak urine) or amniotic fluid. Often a woman will go into labor soon after her water breaks. When this does not happen, her doctor may want to induce (bring about) labor. This is because once your water breaks, your risk of getting an infection goes up as labor is delayed.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing Specialist

Even if you're not sure you're feeling a gush of pee or your water has broken, call your healthcare provider, advises nurse midwife Paula Greer. Watch the video to learn more about when to head to your birthing facility.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.