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Do I really need to go in as soon as my waters break??

(10 Posts)
lightsandshapes Fri 21-Oct-11 08:10:51

Hello, at my 39 week growth scan yesterday they picked up slightly elevated levels of amniotic fluid (though the consultant said it was borderline when she palpated my stomach). They said to avoid any risk of cord prolapse I should come into hospital as soon as my waters break to check the position of the cord. My question is - how do they do this? Is it an internal exam (consultant was very vague and misunderstood my question). Secondly, I am planning a home birth, won't coming in potentially mean they get me to stay in or start off a chain of intervention? I obvioulsy don't want to take any risks but equally don't want to loose the chance of a home birth through scare tactics.......

Opinions much appreciated...

happenstance Fri 21-Oct-11 08:18:54

Didn't want to read and run, not sure about checking cord position i'm afraid, however, my waters broke 2 days before i went into labour, I went in and was told this was fine and sent home,I went back in established labour and i ended up being on antibiotics all the way through due to infection risk.

I was at a midwife led unit so it may be possible to have the antibiotics at home, i don't know.

But i would definately go in if your waters break, in the end you won't care how your baby got here as long as He/She is ok.

happenstance Fri 21-Oct-11 08:20:20

Oh and Congratulations grin

blueskydrinking Fri 21-Oct-11 09:25:06

Can you talk to the midwife who will be with you for the home birth? I'm not sure quite how it works so not sure if you know for certain who that will be.

ShowOfHands Fri 21-Oct-11 09:31:28

DS was high/not engaged at my 37wk appointment and I had quite a lot of water. I was given the same advice. My waters broke that night, I nipped to the hospital where they did a couple of traces and kept an eye on me for a while and then was sent home again. The trace should show that the baby's not in distress and therefore the cord shouldn't be compromised. If they can also feel that the baby is engaged then they know the increased risk of cord prolapse is no longer present.

grubbalo Fri 21-Oct-11 09:44:04

I went through something similar with DC3. They can tell cord position via scans, or by an internal to see if they feel head / cord first. TBH they can't be too worried as the major risk point is when your waters go - I had a baby in an unstable lie, which meant they didn't want my waters to go naturally - if they had done, because the head wasn't blocking the gap, cord or arm could have come out first. If your baby is engaged then there is no danger of that and they are just wanting to cross the t's etc.

Good luck!

lightsandshapes Fri 21-Oct-11 10:07:21

Thanks happenstance and showof hands - how do they do a trace?

Grubbalo - thanks for your experiences.. They said last time that baby was 3/5s engaged but this time wa hovering above the pelvis. It had dipped out again..... I couldn't establish from the midwife /consultant if this was 'engaged enough'. My plan was to stay at home as long as poss after my waters break (up to 24 hours). Is this now foolhardy?

ShowOfHands Fri 21-Oct-11 10:35:16

The trace is a couple of pads put on your abdomen to monitor the baby's heartrate and contractions. Takes half an hour. If you've been advised of a prolapse risk, I'd go in to check and NICE guidelines say 24hrs post waters breaking is the start of infection risk.

A trace being done

Your waters probably won't go first anyway.

Fresh01 Fri 21-Oct-11 10:39:43

I would write down a list of your questions and call you midwife and go through them all. With DC3 my waters broke at 39 weeks, got to hospital less than an hour later and 3 hours later I was holding my DS. Then on the other hand I know 2 girls who has gone 5-7 days after their water have broken with daily hospital appointments to check baby and for signs of infection. There are just so many variables to childbirth. Good luck and hope you get the home birth you want.

grubbalo Fri 21-Oct-11 10:46:30

Seems odd... As I say the point of risk is really when your waters go. What has happened to you sounds identical to the situation with my DS2.. He was engaged and then came out again. He also went to unstable lie though which worried them so they admitted me. Then he went back to head down, in the pelvis so I was allowed out again 2 days later (for my planned homebirth). But it was on the proviso I called the midwife the second I thought I was on labour - I did that, but when she came out he'd gone unstable lie again. Would have been ok but then my forewaters went so I had to go in.

The end result was that they had to break my waters properly (in theatre, so that if cord came first they could do a section under GA) and I then just stayed in to have him. It ended up being a really good birth - v quick, just gas and air. So although not a homebirth it was a really nice experience and I left hospital 6 hours after he was born.

BUT - this was all because he was unstable lie. The chances are your baby will engage again - my experience and extensive googling suggests consultants get very, very jittery about cord prolapse so if they have let you out that is a very good sign they think the position of the baby is ok. They will then hope gravity
means the head is really sucked down the pelvis as your waters go.

So I think if your waters go you should definitely get someone to check baby is head down, engaged in your pelvis - and if so then a homebirth should be just fine.

Obviously this is all just from experience, I'm not in anyway medically trained!!

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