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If your waters broke before labour started...

(40 Posts)
cyteen Sun 31-Aug-08 17:26:55

how long did it take for labour to start, and how long after that till you reached the stage of regular contractions?

My waters broke yesterday at about 5.30pm and have been leaking in fits and starts ever since (all clear, some light pinkish-red staining, a few small clots and some mucus). The birth centre mws checked me over yesterday and everything was fine - baby was happy and I was having no contractions. Have been having irregular contractions since around 1am, some strong, others not, but am a bit concerned that I don't seem to be making any progress towards more regular contractions so thought I'd ask the wise ladies of MN for their experiences.

This is my first baby (am 41 weeks today) so I've no idea what to expect. If I'm not in labour by tomorrow morning, I'm booked in for augmentation at the hospital - I know I can ask them just to monitor me if I seem to be making progress unaided, so I will see what is happening at the time. Ideally though I'd like to have the baby at the mw-led birth centre, which means reaching the 5 minutes apart stage of labour sometime before 8am tomorrow. Am just a bit worried and frustrated because it seems less and less likely that that is going to happen!

It's stupid really, I know getting stressed out about it is not going to help, but can't help worrying...


sunnytimer Sun 31-Aug-08 17:37:18

Message withdrawn

MarsLady Sun 31-Aug-08 17:43:17

Contractions normally start within about 24 hours but for some it can take longer. Keep an eye on your temperature (they worry about infection) and let yourself relax. I would imagine that you're in early labour with the irregular contractions. Make sure to rest, eat, drink and pee.

Hopefully you'll be in full flow by tonight and certainly by the morning. smile

onwardandupward Sun 31-Aug-08 17:48:18

I was one of the slow ones, I'm afraid - waters broke and after 24 hours I went in for "augmentation". It was a posterior lie, and a slow start after waters breaking is the classic for that position. Did your mws mention the position of the baby? There is a recent thread about posterior labour - might be worth reading just to prepare yourself mentally for it being not-like-the-ante-natal-class suggested in terms of sensations

Oh - I have birth 32 hours after waters broke, vaginally and having had gas and air during the transition. Despite being on a drip for the last 8 hours of it, I was able to stay upright and moving until the transition, so don't despair if they want to hook you up to tubes, just be determined about staying active

Only advice: rest tonight and nap this afternoon if you possibly possibly can, as in, between contractions or whatever it takes. You don't want to be knackered by tomorrow if you can possibly help it, and when your body is ready to go into full blown labour, it'll get on with it. I wish I'd done that, tbh. I was pretty tired around the 30-hours-since-waters-broke-with-no-rest mark.

bergentulip Sun 31-Aug-08 17:53:21

Mine broke first with both my babies. First time the contractions started within about an hour, not too strong though, and the second time the contractions started about three hours later. Again, they were pretty weak for the first four hours or so.
1st baby it took 26hrs start to finish. Exhausting and went on forever.
2nd baby took 8hrs start to finish. Only 3hrs of horror contractions that time round and 6mins of pushing

The one thing you should expect is that they will keep you in for a couple of days so that the baby can take preventative anti-boitics though. Waters breaking and being out of the hospital 24hrs or more and they tend to do this.
They did with me.
Begs the question- why not keep the mother in labour in the hospital within the timeframe and avoid unnecessary medication and lengthy stay afterwards.... but hey! Something to do with no beds available. [anger] Spent 20hrs of that labour in a hotel room near the hospital, so not even any gas&air!!!! (don't ask!)

bergentulip Sun 31-Aug-08 17:54:57

angry!! not [anger]

and anti-biotics obviously, not boitics.


MarsLady Sun 31-Aug-08 17:55:35

Often they'll keep you in anyway, not just because it happened outside iyswim.

However, let's cross that bridge when we get there. Watch a comedy. Good for opening you up!grin

LazyLinePainterJane Sun 31-Aug-08 17:58:46

It was 48 hours between my waters breaking and regular contractions starting with DS. Then they were every 5 minutes for about 16 hours, until we went to delivery. Felt like FOREVER>

My waters broke around 11am Thurs, I had some contractions, regular for a while but then faded off on Thurs evening, Fri 8am they induced me, Sat a.m dd was born by c-section. She was lying with her nose facing towards my hip and I never dilated beyon 8cm.
I am sure you won't end up with a c-section but the one thing I would say is I was completely unprepared for it, I had read LOADS about 'natural' birth, breathing, the pain relief options and NOTHING about c-section. If it's not going to scare the crap out of you you might want to look now! If you want e-mail me at (let me know here you are emailing and then I'll remember to check it!) and I can send you a sheet that I wrote for a friend who was having a planned section.

However that is ALL complete speculation, there's no reason why you shouldn't progress into full labour and have your baby as planned. Listen to the Mars Lady she is a wise one smile

LazyLinePainterJane Sun 31-Aug-08 18:04:32

I was 41+3 at the time.

Oh and c-section was v. positive experience, dd was fine when she came out, doctors were great and no problems with recovery smile

spicemonster Sun 31-Aug-08 18:05:23

I knew this would be you! Hang on in there. Hope it isn't much longer before stuff starts to happen. As you know I really don't know what I'm talking about I won't give you any advice except to say, yes do rest. No matter how you give birth, this is your last chance to sleep when you want. And eat something that takes ages to eat and requires both hands as you won't get a chance to do that for some time either

cyteen Sun 31-Aug-08 18:05:58

Thanks all, very much appreciated I have been trying to chill out today, have eaten and been for a walk as well as doing lots of dossing about being indolent.

Think I'm just having a wobbly moment - previous family bereavements have left me very prone to fearing the worst, and now that my boy's arrival is so close I think I'm more scared than ever that something will happen to him, so it's reassuring to hear that rates of progress vary so much.

onwardandupward - the mw yesterday didn't say anything specific about the baby's position, but he has been on my right hand side, lying sideways, for pretty much the entire pregnancy so it wouldn't surprise me if he's not in the ideal position for labour atm (awkward sod). I will have a read, thanks for the tip

cyteen Sun 31-Aug-08 18:08:17

LOL spicemonster grin Me, neurotic enough to put myself about all over the interweb? Never wink

loisstella Sun 31-Aug-08 18:26:54

Hi there. I had a similar experience as DANCES. Waters broke, contractions very regular but I just wouldn't dilate properly so eventually a c-section.
I also read up on everything but ceasarian birth... But it was a very positive experience.

lulumama Sun 31-Aug-08 18:28:30

you could try some nipple stim, especially with a breast pump if you have one to hand to encourage ctx. sounds like you are in early/latent phase anyway.

make sure you rest, eat ,drink, wee and poo as oyu need to and try to sleep tonight , your body will let you know when it is time to pay attention

teenymummy Sun 31-Aug-08 18:48:00

Hi cyteen, with my baby my waters broke bit by bit like yours on the monday, I went into hospital later that day who then sent me home saying it will be soon but I didnt have my little one until wednesday night. I had been having contractions since midday monday. It did result in us both getting an infection though because he didnt have anything surrounding him for two days and it led to complications. I dont want to worry you as you will most probably be fine. We both were after we had our antibiotics. I just wouldnt let the hospital keep sending you home if you think you are/should be ready to have your little one. Good luck and enjoy the gas and air!!!

minkersmum Sun 31-Aug-08 19:14:58

My waters broke before any contractions both times. The second time castor oil helped things along nicely and i had a 4 hr 40 min labour, vaginal birth in water. I feel castor oil is less harsh than augmentation with synto and would def use again. If it doesn't work it leaves a nice clear bowel and rectum to aid descant of the head.

Hope you find your contractions pick up soon, birthing ball might help too.

Good luck, hope you have a bouncing baby in your arms soon.

DebitheScot Sun 31-Aug-08 19:24:08

I'm reading this with interest as mine might have just gone too but I'm not sure (I'm due in 3 days, ds was 3 days late, his waters broke right at end of labour that was 4 hours start to finish).
I stood up and felt a small gush, there wasn't really that much but more than just a trickle. Enough to have to change pants and trousers. And it def wasn't wee. Went to the loo and there wasn't anymore despite pushing out a bit of a poo and thinking that might make it come gushing out. Not sure what to do now. Have put a maternity pad on.

lulumama Sun 31-Aug-08 19:26:18

could be a leak.. rather than them breaking, call labour ward and let them know, if it continues leaking, tehy might want to get you in for some monitoring, also could be a sign things are getting underway

castor oil - not recommended. glad you had a good experience with it, but it can give you horrific diaorrhea, pains and leave you feeling ill and weak. your body will naturally clear itself out.

nickytwotimes Sun 31-Aug-08 19:26:41

Mine broke at midnight and contractions started at 20 past!
Our NHS trust has a blanket 24 hour induction policy once the waters go.

minkersmum Sun 31-Aug-08 19:26:54

Amniotic fluid has a very particular smell, sort of sweet and a bit like how a new baby smells (before people scrub them with products), it also often has little white flecks in it (bits of vernix, esp if before 40 weeks)


sweetkitty Sun 31-Aug-08 19:29:35

oh very exciting two new babies soon grin

My waters went first and third labours, first labour contractions started about 2 hours after they went, I had went into hospital examined turned away and on the way back pains started so came back again I think they thought I was a mad first timer as they said it would be hours. 4 hours later had a baby.

Third time waters to baby 1h 35 mins smile

best of luck to you both

minkersmum Sun 31-Aug-08 19:30:46

RE; Castor oil, usually works if baby ready and all other factors present, head down, well applied to cervix, over 37 weeks, good position (ie not posterior). People have bad experience taknig it at wrong time and too much.

Body doesn't always clear itself out, lots of people have a jam packed rectum, esp if they've been on iron. It can stop the head descending in my experience.

thirtysomething Sun 31-Aug-08 19:37:09

I was in full blown labour within an hour or so of waters breaking with baby no. 2 (first baby had to have waters broken) - moving around really speeded things up. Good luck!

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