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Waters breaking

Most women’s waters break during labour, but it can also happen before labour starts. Your unborn baby develops and grows inside a bag of fluid called the amniotic sac. When it is time for your baby to be born, the sac breaks and the amniotic fluid drains out through your vagina. This is your waters breaking.

You may feel a slow trickle, or a sudden gush of water that you cannot control. To prepare for this, you could keep a sanitary towel (but not a tampon) handy if you are going out, and put a plastic sheet on your bed.

Amniotic fluid is clear and a pale straw colour. When it comes out, it may be a little blood-stained to start with.

If your waters break call Maternity Triage for you and your baby to be assessed, and further information about the plan to follow as there is a risk of infection if labour does not start within 24-36 hours.

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