What to do when your water breaks during pregnancy


Your water breaking during pregnancy is not something to fear. In this blog post, we go over what you should do when your water breaks. First of all, if your water breaks, don’t panic! There are many things that can be done to ensure a healthy delivery of your baby and an uncomplicated labor experience for yourself.

As you get closer to your due date the fear of your water breaking in public, a la every Hollywood movie is real! However, the likelihood of it actually happening is low. Labors beginning with your water breaking only happen 10-15% of the time. The other 85-90% happen DURING labor.

If and when it does happen, there are a few things you’ll want to look for and there’s a handy acronym for that: COAT

C – Color

What color is your water? Is it cloudy, clear, brown, speckled, etc? Be sure to let your midwife or provider know. Clear or cloudy is considered “normal”. You may see a very slight blood tinge, and that’s typically OK too. Remember, any abnormal bleeding, especially blood flow like a period needs to be reported to your care provider immediately.

O – Odor

Does it have a smell at all? Some women report their amniotic fluid has a sweet hint to it. Others report no odor. A foul odor warrants a phone call to your provider.

A – Amount

When your water breaks is it a trickle or a gush?

T – Time and Temperature

What time did you first notice your water leaking? Note that so you have a timeline. Taking your temperature orally when your water breaks is a good idea. A rise in temperature is the first sign of an infection, so be sure to get a baseline. 

Water breaks during pregnancy

When your Water Breaks: The Takeaway

Besides looking for the different “COAT” indicators, good, clear, open communication with your doctor or midwife is key. Keep them posted as to any changes you are experiencing. Also continue to monitor baby’s movements, as this is a good indicator of their well-being.

After reading this blog post, you should have a better understanding of what to do when your water breaks. This is important because it can be easy to panic if you don’t know exactly what’s going on and how best to act at the moment. 

If you’re looking for more information about labor or natural childbirth, contact us today! We’d love to schedule a free tour of our birthing center and a consultation with one of our midwives, so we can answer all of your questions!


Thanks to @theplacentapill for contributing to this blog post!


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