If your water breaks and you ARE NOT having contractions you can either wait for contractions to start on their...
If your water breaks and you ARE NOT having contractions you can either wait for contractions to start on their own before you go to the hospital, or head to the hospital right away where you may be induced. There are three lines of thought on this topic - medical, holistic, and mine. Medical advice: Most medical research and doctors will say that if your water breaks you need to call your care provider, let them know, and most likely go to the hospital very soon after. As time passes the risk for infection can grow, and most medical folks want to limit this WAY ahead of time. If your water breaks and you don't start having contractions on your own, a doctor may want to induce your labor in as little as six hours, although anywhere from 6 to 24 hours is typical. According to one study, "2 percent to 3 percent of infants born under premature water break conditions will develop infections." Holistic advice: Many midwives and natural birth experts who have studied this topic will note that most of the time (85%) women will go into labor on their own after their water breaks. They also tend to agree that going to the hospital right away may do more harm than good because hospitals are jumpy about induction. They'll induce too early after your water breaks. A lot of research shows that so long as you follow safety guidelines (no sex, baths, tampons) after your water breaks, you and your baby are unlikely to develop an infection within the first 24 hours after your water breaks. My advice: If it was up to me, I would have had a home birth, but I had some complications during my pregnancy and a home birth would have been impossible. I agreed with my midwife to give birth at the hospital birth center but I still wanted a natural birth. Then, my water broke before my contractions started. I called up the hospital and they said I had to come in right away. I didn't want to, but back then, I was young and nervous, and didn't think that I could say no. I went in and within less than five hours they had me hooked up to all sorts of stuff (IV, baby monitor), and then started labor induction. Long story short, the induction was terrible. I'd seen women in natural labor, and induction is a whole other ballgame. My contractions were really bad, and because I was so stressed, labor lasted forever. I lasted about a day in labor without pain relief (which they were pushing at me). Finally I was so tired that they threatened a c-section and I said I'd take pain relief over that. I slept and then managed to have a vaginal delivery but my son was carted off right away - he was on shaky ground due to the meds they gave me. Because I went into that hospital early and was induced, my labor and birth went way worse than I wanted it to. I can't know what would have happened had I avoided interventions, but I can tell you that if I had it to do over again, I would have parked my butt at home and waited for at least 12 hours before going into the hospital after my water broke. I seriously think I would have avoided a long labor and being medicated had I stayed home. If your water breaks, it's up to you to decide what to do. However, know that you can say no to going to the hospital right away. You can say no to induction. If your water has only been broken for a little while (under 12 hours) I'd wait it out at home. Try some natural labor induction techniques like nipple stimulation and walking. Most likely you'll go into labor on your own. If you still haven't started contractions at 18 hours, that's a good time to head in to the hospital. Of course discuss all this with your health care provider, but don't let them talk you into anything that's uncomfortable or that will lead to a too early induction.

Tags: labor drugs labor induction natural labor induction technique water breaking what to do if your water breaks when to go to the hospital when your water breaks

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