“My water broke!”
"Your water broke? Please tell me the chemistry of how you came to do that?"
It is in fact a membrane that has released amniotic fluid and not water breaking. To break water you have to separate hydrogen and oxygen. The term "water breaking" has been used for a long time and exactly where or how it began is hard to say. But logically and correctly it is a membrane that opens somewhere and releases fluid from the inside. That fluid that is released is amniotic fluid.
The membrane is comprised of two layers and is connected to the placenta. Within the membrane are your baby and the amniotic fluid.
When it releases it is important to remember a few things:
Time - What time did it release or if you woke up and found yourself in a wet bed what time did you wake up?
Amount - Was it a large amount with more of a gush or was it a little trickle like you peed yourself?
Color - Was it clear? It should be clear. If it is brown or green or somewhere in between it is best to let your care provider know.
Odor - There should not be a bad odor but if there is you should let your care provider know as well.
Most providers wish that you call them when this occurs to provide the above information. Some wish for you to call them if membranes released and there is a delayed start in labor. Often women are hesitant to call or go to their birthing location right away as they know they may be on the clock for when baby needs to be born. However, if this is a question that you have discussed prenatally you know what your doctor, midwife will want. When discussed prenatally you will know when to come in, and when they need to begin medical intervention. It is also a good idea to call your doula and let her know.
Researchers estimate that around 8-10% of women will experience membrane release prior to labor beginning.
The best thing to do when your membranes release is to remain calm, and know that it is the start of a wonderful, powerful process for mother and baby!