Raising awareness of Pprom (waters breaking early)

If your waters break early seek medical advice straight away as you could be at risk of premature labour.

Your unborn baby lies in an amniotic sac of fluid or ‘waters’. ‘Waters breaking’ means that the sac has ruptured or broken. Your waters normally break around the time labour is due but in around 2% of pregnancies they break early for various reasons (see below).

If your waters break before your baby has reached full term, the medical name for it is preterm premature rupture of the membranes, or PPROM. If this happens early, before the contractions start, it can (but does not always) trigger early labour.

Have my waters have broken early (PPROM)?

If your waters have broken early, you will experience it as a trickle or a gush of water from your vagina. If it isn’t too heavy you can use a sanitary towel to catch it. This will also allow you to see what colour it is. It may be pinkish if it contains some blood, or it may be clear. If it is heavy, you may need to use a towel.

What are the risks if my waters break early (PPROM)?

If your waters break early the risks and treatment are dependent on the stage of pregnancy you are at.

  • You are at risk of going into labour prematurely – the health risks for the baby of early birth are greater the younger they are.
  • If you do not go into labour, you and the baby are at risk of infection because the normally sterile waters have been broken.

The doctors have to balance these two considerations. If the waters have brokenbecause of infection, you and the baby have a high risk of getting the infection and you may need to deliver sooner to prevent this.

If the waters have broken but there is no infection currently present, you and the baby are still at risk but the immediate risk is lesser and your treatment will depend on your stage of pregnancy.

If you are under 24 weeks of pregnancy and the baby is born, sadly, it is unlikely the baby will survive.

If you are over 30 weeks and the baby is born, the likelihood of your baby surviving is very high – over 95%

Read more about the health of babies born at different stages of gestation here.

Read more about infection here

What will happen if my waters break early (PPROM)?

Over 80% of women who have PPROM deliver their baby within seven days of their waters breaking.

If you don’t go into labour, you may leak fluid for the rest of your pregnancy. However, you and the baby are at high risk of infection and you could suddenly go into labour.

If you are past 34 weeks the doctor will weigh up the benefits of inducing delivery before the due date to avoid the risk of infection with the disadvantages of being born premature, and may make a recommendation for early delivery.

You may need to stay in a hospital that has a neonatal unit and be monitored carefully for any sign of infection. You may also be treated with antibiotics and corticosteroids, to help prepare your baby’s lungs in case he is born prematurely.

What if there are no waters left in my womb?

Your baby’s amniotic sac has to have the right amount of amniotic fluid for the pregnancy to continue normally. If there is a break in the waters your baby will continue to produce amniotic fluid.

Before 23 weeks, the baby needs ‘waters’ to be present for their lungs to develop normally. Loss of water before this can lead to severe problems with lung development that can be critical after birth. After 23 weeks your baby does not need the amniotic fluid so much, so low levels of fluid may not be a problem in itself, but if the low levels are due to your waters breaking then there is a risk of infection.

Causes of waters breaking early (PPROM)

Intrauterine infection is present in around a third of women with PPROM. Although there is clear evidence that infection travelling from the vagina is linked to PPROM, many cases happen without any infection being present. The reason for these cases is unclear, however it has been linked to heavy smoking (more than 10 cigarettes a day) in pregnancy

KEEP EVERY HEARTBEAT STRONG.

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About Daddys with Angels.

We began as a group for grieving fathers and men in families, but other family members asked to join us. We now also have a group for Families with Angels dads and other male family members and siblings under 18. We have experienced and live with the harsh pain of loss and we hope we can bring other comfort with what we do, To find us please search for us on face book or www.daddyswithangels.org/. Hugs to you all and floaty kisses to all your angels. We retain the name Daddys With Angels.
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2 Responses to Raising awareness of Pprom (waters breaking early)

  1. Decent article, strong with the Basics of pPROM.

    • Thank you Michael. The basics of PPROM is all, I believe, is need for the public. There is a lack of awareness in the community about this, but more worrying the appropriate intervention is NOT being applied in some places 😦

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