When you are in your ninth month of pregnancy, your water could break at any time. It’s probably best that this doesn’t happen when you are giving a speech in front of a large crowd of people or when you are a guest at a formal dinner party. The good news is that only about 10 percent of women experience their water breaking before they are checked in at the hospital. But, since you don’t know for sure, it is understandable why many women are interested in knowing what, if any, signs will occur before your water breaks.
While there are no sure ways to predict if or when your water–which is really the amniotic fluid–will break, some signs will tell you when you are in labor. Up to a month before you enter labor, your body starts preparations, according to the Baby Center website. In the weeks or days prior to labor, you may feel your baby drop, which feels like increased heaviness in your pelvis. You may feel Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are less intense contractions than when you are in labor. If your contractions don’t get any closer together than once every 10 to 20 minutes, then you are in false labor. Not all women experience Braxton-Hicks contractions at all. Another sign of labor is the “bloody show.” This is when your mucus plug comes out. It is mucus tinged with pink, brown or red blood.
Feeling the Water
Sometimes, it is obvious when your water breaks. You will feel a gush of fluid soaking through your clothing. You can’t mistake this for anything else. Other times, when water breaks, it is more subtle, and you might mistake it for urine leakage or vaginal discharge.
You may notice a popping sensation when your water breaks, according to the Dr. Spock website. Some women think this may be the baby kicking the bladder. It is not always obvious that it is your water breaking. If your panties are wet, even after several changes of underwear, you should lie down for about 30 minutes, recommends the Dr. Spock website. When you get up, if you feel a small gush of water, your water has probably broken. Call your doctor immediately.
What Amniotic Fluid Looks Like
When your water breaks, the fluid is clear, pink, brown or green. Some people say it smells like Comet cleanser, according to the Dr. Spock website. If the fluid is yellow and smells like ammonia, this is probably urine leakage, which can happen at the end of a pregnancy. If your amniotic fluid is brown or green, let your doctor know. This happens because the baby may have had his first bowel movement, and this fluid is called meconium-stained fluid.