How to break your water

You’ve been pregnant for what seems like years, but in fact, it’s only been nine months. You are anxious to get things moving and you heard that you may be able to do your part. Do you know how to break your water? Sometimes a physician or even a midwife might try to encourage the mom-to-be to do this to start the labor process. It should be done by a healthcare professional, but here are some tips on how to get your water to break a little faster.

How to Break Your Water

How to break your water

1. Ask Your Doctor to Strip Your Membranes

While this sounds both nasty and invasive, it is really only asking him or her to move the amniotic fluid sac from the sides of the uterus. What will happen next is the uterus will become irritated and contractions will begin to start anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days after this happens. Sometimes your water may even break by the time you get home.

2. Walk It Off

Besides being a great form of exercise, walking is another way that you can try to help things along when you are trying to learn how to get your water to break. When you walk, and just about 30 minutes at a time is all you need, the baby will begin to move down into the birth canal. This may cause your water to break and get the contractions started. Make sure you don’t overdo it even though you are anxious to give birth.

3. Have Sexual Moves

If you are still wondering how to break your water you could try having sex. If you took number one to heart and had the doctor strip your membranes having sex just might do the trick. Having sex won’t hurt your baby but you shouldn’t have sex after your water breaks. You could be putting your baby in danger if any bacteria were to enter into the uterus.

4. Nipple Stimulation

Stimulating your nipples has been a pretty effective way of getting labor started. When you roll the nipples and the areola using your forefinger and your thumb it mimics the motion that a baby makes when they are nursing. Many people think that this method is as effective in getting labor started as using Pitocin.

5. Foods That May Help Break Your Water

These methods have actually no medical basis and are more regarded as old wives’ tales but they are listed here in case they may work for you.

  • Spicy foods: Eating spicy foods can upset your bowels enough to get the uterus to begin contractions. But the capsaicin can cancel out the effects of endorphins making labor extra painful.
  • Pineapples: Many people think a woman shouldn’t eat pineapples throughout her pregnancy until the end when she wants to get into labor. It is said that it ripens the cervix and helps the body to make more prostaglandins which helps to induce labor.
  • Evening primrose oil: It is believed that the components of this herb evolve into prostaglandins which can cause your water to break and start the process of labor. At 36 weeks of pregnancy, take two 500 mg capsules; at week 38, increase to 3 or 4 capsules each day.

6. Amniotomy

If you have tried everything and you are still wondering how to break your water, you may opt for an amniotomy. An amniotomy is where the doctor or midwife actually breaks your water for you. If your water hasn’t broken and you have started labor but it has slowed down, having your water broken may help to get it back up to speed. They use a special tool that will pierce the membrane and let the fluids flow out of the protective membrane. The baby is checked directly afterward to make sure that it has not been affected by the stress.

Things to Keep in Mind

Ok, so you are near the end of your pregnancy and you are tired of feeling fat and tired! You are constantly wondering how to break your water and you are feeling more and more anxious and desperate. But however anxious you are, there’re things that you must know about water breaking to make sure you and your baby’s health.

  • Once the amniotic sac is broken only 10% of pregnant women begin labor.
  • There are risks involved once the water has broken. When the water has broken and labor has not begun it is called the premature rupture of membranes, or PROM. Special attention must be paid to prevent any infections or complications.
  • Once the water has broken it may cause a more painful and difficult labor. The amniotic sac helps to support baby’s head and without it the head may be forced into the pelvis area.
  • Another side effect of your water breaking too early is cord prolapse which can be dangerous.

If your water hasn’t broken and you are in labor, don’t worry, it will most likely happen on its own right before you are ready to deliver. Look at it as a form of protection for your baby, so don’t try to rush it. Even if your doctor wants to break your water if you choose to let it happen naturally, you don’t have to have it done.

How to break your water

Most women who have been pregnant before can relate to that feeling of just wanting to get it over with. In the last days of your pregnancy, you will likely be begging that little bundle of joy to end your misery and make her debut. If begging doesn’t work, below you’ll find some information on how to break your water at home when pregnant.

How to Break Your Water at Home When Pregnant

Strip Your Membranes
Have your membranes stripped by your medical professional. Ask your doctor to strip your membranes. This is a process that involves your doctor using his fingers to separate the sac of amniotic fluid from the uterus walls. While it sounds pretty graphic, it’s not that bad and not as invasive as having your waters broken. The uterus becomes irritated and begins contracting a few hours or days after the procedure, often breaking your water once you are at home. When combined with steps 2, 3, and 4, this step becomes even more effective at breaking your water.

Walk it Out
Walk, walk, walk and then walk some more. One way in which you can help your water to break in the last days of pregnancy is to walk. Walking is not only great exercise, but it helps your little one drop into the birth canal in order to get ready for delivery. This in itself can help your water break and bring the onset of contractions. Remember not to overdo it–you don’t want to risk injury to yourself or your child. Around 30 minutes at a time is a good amount of walking.

Have Sex
Have sex, sex and some more sex. Having sex is sometimes known to help break your water in those last days. This is especially true if you have your membranes stripped at your physician’s office and then go home and have sexual relations with your partner. If you’re worried that sexual relations might injure your baby, it shouldn’t. The only time sexual relations might be dangerous to you or your baby is if you have sex after your water breaks. At that point, sexual relations could place harmful bacteria into the uterus and should not be attempted.

Nipple Stimulation
Try nipple stimulation. Nipple stimulation has long been known to sometimes induce labor and trigger the breaking of the waters. Simply roll the nipple as well as the areola back and forth between your thumb and forefinger–or have your partner do it for you while you relax. The key is to simulate the motion that would happen if a baby were suckling. This is thought to be a very powerful way to induce labor–similar to Pitocin.

How to Break Your Water at Home When Pregnant

How to break your water

Fasting has a number of purported health benefits, although human trials on water fasting are limited. Fasting has been used by mankind for ages; many swear by the practice as the key to longevity. Long fasts should be introduced to the body gradually, but once you’ve reached the level of being able to go for extended periods of time without food, it’s equally as important to know how to break a long water fast.

Why Should I Water Fast?

The science behind water fasting partially comes down to a process called autophagy. Autophagy is a method your body uses to “self-clean”, or literally translated, to “self-eat” damaged cells. It can be induced a few different ways, and one of them is abstaining from food for a determinate length of time. Because this self-cleaning phenomenon isn’t fully understood, there is no exact amount of time recommended to water fast for to get the best results, but the effects of autophagy are thought to peak after around 20 hours, slightly less for women.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is another aid responsible for the cellular renewal stimulated by water fasting. HGH is an important hormone that stimulates cell production & regeneration in humans. It is also responsible for preserving muscle mass and breaking down fatty acids for energy during fasting. Paired with autophagy, which is busy getting rid of old broken-down cells, the two can work wonders for your health.

Long Vs Short Fasts

How to break your water

While intermittent fasting (IF) has grown exponentially in today’s society (IF is fasting either every day or a few days a week for periods of 14-23 hours), long fasts have been used throughout history for cultural and spiritual reasons, as well as to combat illness. There is a more pronounced spiritual aspect regarding longer fasts because they have as much to do with your mental state as they do with your physical state. Most practitioners consider a “long” fast to extend for at least 72 hours (at the very least) and use them to achieve mental and physical renewal.

The value of autophagy is realized through both long and short water fasts but is thought to deepen in effect the longer you go without food. Because HGH is released in spurts throughout fasting it’s hard to pinpoint what provokes the highest levels of the growth hormone, but valuable levels have been shown to retain their presence even after 5 days, suggesting the effects of HGH last throughout a long fast.

How to Prepare for a Long Fast

In order to set yourself up for success, you will need to take to make sure your fast is not going to shock your system. If you have zero experiencing with fasting you aren’t going to want to jump straight into an extended fast right away as it will be highly uncomfortable, and in some cases it can be dangerous. You should gradually be restricting your eating windows throughout the weeks prior and should have already successfully completed a couple full 24-hour fasts to prep yourself to go without food for a longer period of time.

Additionally, the foods you’re eating should be light and healthy. There is no reason to put your body through undue stress by loading up on injurious fats and sugars right before attempting to rid yourself of unwanted by-products created by those very “evils”.

Longer fasts have shown to encourage changes in physiology that remain months after the fast has been completed, so it is not necessary to complete extended fasts more than once every few months (or longer).

It’s also not recommended to partake in a longer fast if you are ill or experiencing a major health issue without guidance and approval from your doctor. Actually, even if you aren’t sick, it’s still worth a quick visit to your GF just to be on the safe side.

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If you are looking to learn how to soften water and save money, this article will teach you about all the ways that you can soften your water. Some methods on how to soften water naturally are easier than others, and there are also options that may require a machine.

While it is difficult to soften water naturally in large amounts, if you are looking to consume or cook with a small amount of water, this article will help you in a quick pinch.

How to Soften Water?

There are 2 ways to soften water; either by using a water softener or a natural softener.

By Using a Water Softener

You can soften water by using a water softener. Many people like to install a large water filter that can soften the water supply of an entire house. These water filters often require a professional to install them into the home.

There are also water softeners that you can install under a sink to get clean dishes and drinkable water. You can often install these water filters on your own. These systems are usually salt based or salt free.

By Using a Natural Softener

Large water softeners can cost a lot of money, however, and many people decide against getting a softener for that reason. Instead, there are multiple ways that you can naturally soften the water in your household.

It is important to note most of the methods available for softening water naturally will only work on small amounts of water at a time, as you are usually treating the water after it comes out from the pipes.

How to Soften Hard Water Naturally?

These methods will teach you how to soften hard water without the use of a machine or harsh chemicals.

Boil the Water

How to break your water

There are many situations where you can boil water to get rid of any impurities, such as bacteria and foreign minerals.

If you have a saucepan or a pot, you can place the water in the container of your choice and let it boil for a few minutes. Once you boil the water, you will want to remove the water and pour it into a clean cup or bowl. If you are planning on drinking the water, make sure that the second container is clean.

If you plan on bathing or cooking with the water, you can store that water you boil in a bucket or a large container.

Water Filters

How to break your water

If you are looking for an easier way to get drinkable water, you can always use a water filter as well.

There are many variations of water filters, including pitchers that have a built-in water filtration system. When you pour the hard water through the filter, softer water comes out and is ready for use. This method works only on small amounts of water but is a cheap and easy way to get a drink in the afternoon.

There are also water filters you can use on your shower head. These filters allow you to shower in water that won’t leave any residue, or make your skin dry out. They are easy to install, and a lot cheaper than investing in a larger water filter for the home.

Natural Laundry Detergent

How to break your water

You can create your water softener for your laundry. By combining baking soda and white vinegar with a load of laundry, you can help eliminate any smells or residue that may come with washing your clothes in hard water.

The acidic properties of vinegar are good for lessening the effects of hard water. While vinegar has its powerful smell, the smell will wash away as you run your laundry. You can also add essential oils to the mix to bring a delightful smell to your clothes.

Baking soda will help keep your clothes smelling good and feeling good despite the hard water. By adding a half cup of both baking soda and white vinegar, you can combat the effects of calcium and magnesium on your clothes.

Conclusion

There are many ways to soften your water. If you are struggling with the quality of water in your home, you will want to invest in a way to soften your water. But knowing how to soften water can help you out with a quick fix.

How you choose to get soft water does not have to be expensive, nor does it have to require a professional. If you want to provide soft water to the entire house, it may be worth it to get an official water softener. But if you prefer to treat your water in small amounts, you can use a natural method.

If your water (aka “amniotic sac,” “bag of waters” or “membranes”) hasn’t broken on its own when you arrive at the hospital, and you’re five or more centimeters dilated, your OB might recommend bursting the bag by hand—especially if your cervix seems to be making slow (or no) progress. (Some OBs will go ahead and break your water at 3 or 4 centimeters.)

The reasoning behind this: “Artificial rupture of membranes” (popping a hole in the amniotic sac) will usually jumpstart labor by getting serious contractions underway. If labor is moving along fine, you and your doctor might decide to wait this one out—after all, contractions tend to be more painful after your water breaks. If the OB doesn’t rupture your membranes, the sac will probably break on its own during labor, though once in a while it stays intact until baby makes an exit. (Either way is fine.)

To break your water, the doctor will reach up and prod it with something that looks like a crochet hook. You might feel (very little) discomfort as the device enters your vagina, but as for the actual water breaking, most women only feel a big, warm gush of liquid.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

How to break your water

As a labor, delivery, and postpartum nurse and childbirth educator, one of the most common questions I get is, “How will I know if my water broke?” Believe it or not, your water breaking probably will be nothing like what is portrayed in movies and TV shows! Research shows that only about 10-15% of mamas will experience their water breaking before labor begins, which means 85-90% of mothers will break their water during labor, delivery, or even preterm. So what does your water breaking even mean? During pregnancy, your baby is surrounded and protected by an amniotic fluid-filled membranous sac. This amniotic fluid is actually made by your baby and helps regulate your baby’s… Read More

As a labor, delivery, and postpartum nurse and childbirth educator, one of the most common questions I get is, “How will I know if my water broke?” Believe it or not, your water breaking probably will be nothing like what is portrayed in movies and TV shows! Research shows that only about 10-15% of mamas will experience their water breaking before labor begins, which means 85-90% of mothers will break their water during labor, delivery, or even preterm.

So what does your water breaking even mean?

During pregnancy, your baby is surrounded and protected by an amniotic fluid-filled membranous sac. This amniotic fluid is actually made by your baby and helps regulate your baby’s temperature, prevents infection, aids in fetal development, and cushions your growing baby.

You may hear your water breaking, also referred to as “rupture of membranes.” This commonly occurs towards the end of pregnancy. However, it can occur preterm and is called premature rupture of membranes. Of course, if you think your water has broken at any point in your pregnancy, you will want to communicate this with your healthcare provider.

What are the signs of your water breaking?

Everyone will describe their experience with their water breaking a bit differently. Some mamas describe their water breaking as a slow trickle. And yes, confusing your water breaking with peeing your pants happens all the time! As you can imagine, your baby’s head may sit on your bladder and irritate it or cause you to lose a bit of urine, and that’s okay! Other moms say that they experienced a popping sensation or a large gush of fluid. Some other moms report that they are unsure whether their water has broken, but they feel an uncontrollable leak or find their underwear damp, and the fluid doesn’t smell like urine.

When your water breaks, it won’t be painful, which can make the sensation hard to identify. However, when in doubt, call your provider, and they can walk you through the next steps!

Take note of these things.

If you think your water broke, take a deep breath! There are a few things you’ll need to take note of about your fluid. Remember this acronym—TACO!

  • Time — What time did your water break? Your provider will want to know how long it has been since your water has broken as there are some time-sensitive aspects to labor and birth-related to how long it has been since you’ve been ruptured, such as infection!
  • Amount — How much amniotic fluid did you lose? Was it a large gush of fluid or a small trickle? You may feel a small trickle and confuse it with — did I just pee myself? Or you may have a large gush of fluid!
  • Color — What is the color of the amniotic fluid? It should be clear or yellow-tinted. If you notice that the fluid is pink or reddish-tinged, this can also be normal. Anything more than a tablespoon of blood, you should notify your provider immediately! However, sometimes your baby may have their first bowel movement (called meconium) while inside the womb. This can cause fluid to be green or brown-tinged. This is no reason to panic and is quite common. However, you would want to call your provider and notify them.
  • Odor — Does the fluid have an odor? Amniotic fluid typically doesn’t have a foul smell to it. If anything, it is odorless or a possible earthy-sweet odor. If you have a foul-smelling discharge at any point during your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum, you should notify your provider immediately.

I’m still not sure if it broke. What can I do?

As a labor and delivery nurse, one of my top tips to rule out whether or not your water has broken is to put on clean underwear and a pad, lay down for 20-30 minutes, and then stand back up. If it is amniotic fluid, it will likely pool in the vagina and then saturate the pad when you stand up. If the pad is dry, this may mean you had some urine leakage or loss of mucus. During that 30-minutes rest, you can collect your thoughts. Is everything you need ready for the hospital? Do you need to make any phone calls? Perhaps do some kick counts to assess how the baby is doing!

Can my doctor tell me if my water broke?

As you can imagine, the amniotic sac fully surrounds the baby. Sometimes there can be an opening in the sac higher up, resulting in more of a trickle. Or there can be a large opening closer towards the opening of the cervix, resulting in a gush of fluid. Obviously, it’s always hard for us to know where your amniotic sac may have broken. But your healthcare provider can confirm if your water has broken with easy testing at the hospital.

When you notify your doctor, they may ask you to present to your birthplace for testing, depending on your specific circumstances. Testing can be performed several different ways. Your provider may swab the vagina, insert a speculum, introduce a special paper called litmus paper, or examine the fluid under a microscope. Your provider may want to bring you in sooner rather than later for a variety of reasons. Some reasons include if you are group B strep positive, earlier than 37 weeks, have a high-risk pregnancy, have foul-smelling discharge, brown or green stained fluid, have decreased fetal movement, or have been ruptured for several hours and haven’t experienced contractions.

When will my water stop leaking?

Your water will continuously leak until your baby is born, which I find most patients are surprised by! When you make your way to your birthplace, you may want to wear a pad or sit on a puppy pad or a towel to not get the seats in your car wet. I actually kept a spare towel in my car in the weeks leading up to my due date just in case my water broke while I was on the go!

Keep in mind, your labor may not begin for hours after your water breaks. So don’t panic. Know that time is most often on your side! However, I always recommend having a conversation with your provider towards the end of your pregnancy so you know how to proceed if your water does indeed break. Also, it’s important to remember that nothing should be put in the vagina once you suspect your water has broken, as this can increase your risk of infection. This means you should keep vaginal exams to a minimum as well. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself!

There is no specific way for you to break your wrist, however the majority of wrist fractures occur when a large amount of pressure is put on the wrist which is usually from a fall. The most common wrist fractures occur when someone is using one wrist to break a fall. You are also more likely to break your wrist if you suffer from low bone density, vision or hearing problems, and bad balance. Moreover, women after the age of 65 or going through menopause tend to experience more wrist fractures compared to younger women. The reason for this is mainly due to the loss of bone which happens after menopause. In addition, a lot of active and healthy people tend to suffer from wrist fractures, as well as those with good reflexes.

If you’re suffering from a wrist fracture you will more than likely be bruised and sore. You will experience significant and constant pains as well as swelling near the affected area. In addition, your fingers will not move in the normal way and you will experience levels of numbness. If you are suffering from these things then you should go to the hospital and an X-Ray will be able to inform you of the correct diagnosis. Once the wrist fracture has been identified you will be required to do some exercises throughout the healing period to bring back strength and movement to your hand and wrist. However, it depends on the type of fracture, for example a simple fracture refers to a broken bone that still remains close together so a simple realignment would be needed. A complex fracture consists of a number of pieces of broken bone or a break of the joint, which may require surgery.

How to break your water

If your water hasn’t already broken on its own and your labor isn’t progressing well, your practitioner may rupture the amniotic sac or “bag of waters” that surround your baby. This is done to try to augment your labor, or stimulate more effective contractions.

The procedure is known as amniotomy, and has been used for a long time. But experts continue to debate its risks and benefits.

On the pro side, having an amniotomy may:

  • make labor shorter
  • reduce your chances of needing Pitocin (a synthetic version of the hormone that stimulates contractions).
  • make contractions more effective, causing your cervix to dilate so your labor can progress

On the con side, amniotomy:

  • increases your risk of infection
  • removes protection the intact amniotic sac provides against umbilical cord compression during and even between contractions. (Umbilical cord compression can cause your baby’s heart rate to slow down, which may, in some cases, lead to a c-section).
  • will likely cause more painful contractions than you have been having.

How is an amniotomy done?

Your practitioner can break your amniotic sac by inserting a slim, plastic hooked instrument through your vagina and dilated cervix. This should cause no more discomfort than a regular vaginal exam.

This procedure allows the amniotic fluid to flow out of the uterus through the cervix. The fluid contains hormones like prostaglandins that usually lead to stronger contractions. And with the buffer of fluid around the baby gone, the baby’s head can now press on the cervix and cause it to dilate faster.

Why might my provider break my water artificially?

Your practitioner may choose to perform an amniotomy because the longer your labor is allowed to go on without making progress, the greater the chance that you’ll be exhausted when it’s time to push, or that you’ll end up with a c-section.

Your practitioner will consider whether amniotomy is a good choice for you based on factors such as how much your cervix is dilated, how low the baby is in your pelvis, whether you need internal fetal monitoring, and your risk of infection.

If your labor is progressing well and your baby is doing fine, you probably don’t need an amniotomy until you’re very close to delivering. Some practitioners even deliver the baby in the sac.

However, you may need an amniotomy earlier in the labor process if your provider is unable to monitor your baby with the amniotic sac intact

Sources

BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.