As your pregnancy progresses, it may seem like you’ve been pregnant for years, rather than months. You want things to start happening, and perhaps you’ve heard that you can do your part to move the process forward.
Do you know how you can break your own water? Sometimes midwives or physicians may encourage you to do this, in order that the process of labor can be started. To be clear, water can only be broken by a medical professional, but there are ways for you to encourage your water to break a bit more quickly.
How to Break your own Water
- Take Moderate Walks
Walking is an excellent way to exercise, and it’s one way you can help things along when you want your water to break. A half hour a day is all you will need for this process. As you walk, your baby will move further down the birth canal. This can cause the water to break and start contractions. Don’t overo exercise, even though you are understandably anxious about giving birth.
- Ask your Physician to Strip your Membranes
This step sounds invasive and nasty. All it really means is asking your doctor to move the sac of amniotic fluid from the sides of the uterine wall. After this takes place, your uterus will begin to get irritated, and usually contractions follow, from a few hours to several days after this step. Your water may even break when you get home from the doctor appointment where this is done.
- Stimulation of the Nipples
If you stimulate the nipples, this may be a way to get labor started. If you roll the areola and nipples using your thumb and forefinger, it will mimic the motion your baby will make when he nurses. This method seems overly simple, but many people believe it’s effective.
- Perform Sexual Moves
Having sex is another way that you can help your water to break. If you already had your physician strip the membranes, moving the amniotic fluid sac, having sex can kick-start labor. Having sex will not harm your baby, but if your water does break, cease all sexual activity, since bacteria can enter your body that way.
In an amniotomy, your physician or midwife will physically break the water for you. If you are in labor but your water hasn’t yet broken, then breaking it will speed up the birthing process.
A special tool is used, that pierces the membrane to let fluids out of that protected membrane. Your physician will check your baby right after this step, to make sure he has not been affected by stress.
- Foods That May Help Break Your Water
These foods are not medically proven to break your water or begin labor, but many people regard these old wives’ tales as truth. Once in a while they work.
- Evening Primrose Oil
Users of herbs and oils believe that the basic components of primrose oil evolve into natural prostaglandins. These can cause the water to break and begin the labor process. Take two 500 capsules per day at 36 & 37 weeks and when you reach week 38, increase your dosage to 3-4 capsules per day.
It’s a common belief that women should not eat pineapples during pregnancy. This changes when you want to go into labor. Pineapples are said to ripen the cervix and help the body to produce more prostaglandins, to help induce labor.
- Spicy Foods
This choice is a double-edged sword. On one side, eating spicy foods may upset your bowels, and this can cause your contractions to start. On the other hand, the capsaicin in pineapples may counteract the endorphins which normally help labor, making it more painful.
Keep these Facts in Mind
When you’re nearing your due date, you’ve just about had enough tiredness and feeling fat. You may have been wondering about ways to break your water, as you feel more anxious to have the pregnancy over and to deliver a new child. Regardless of how anxious you may be feeling, there are certain things you need to know and heed about breaking your water, to ensure that your baby and you will be safe and healthy.
- Only about 10% of women begin their labor after the breaking of the amniotic sac.
- Once your water has broken, your labor may become more difficult and painful. The amniotic sac supports your baby’s head, and without that cushion, his head may be too roughly forced into the pelvic area.
- Once your water has broken, risks to the labor come into play. If your water breaks and your labor does not begin, this is known as PROM, or the premature rupture of membranes. Your physician and staff will have to take special care so that you do not experience complications or infection.
- Breaking your water too early can also result in a prolapse of the umbilical cord, and this can be quite dangerous for your baby.
If you are in labor, and your water has not yet broken, it’s not generally a reason for worry. It will usually happen on its own, immediately before you deliver your baby. Think of it as a protective bubble for your baby, so you may not want t0 rush it. Even if your delivering physician wants to break the water manually, you can tell him that you want to allow your water to break naturally.