My first labor was extremely difficult and looking back, I think I've pinpointed why. My water broke as the very first sign of labor, before I was dilated at all. Just like how it does in the movies. BAM!
Because of that, I rushed to the hospital, since they say to get in right away if your water breaks. But since I was there before any progress had been made, I do feel I also got my epidural entirely too early. I'm pretty sure by the time I was even dilated 6 cm my epidural was over and done with. This resulted in an excruciating labor, and although I was able to deliver naturally, I hemmorraged really bad, and both my baby and myself spiked high fevers because of it.
My question is - can I still chill out for a while even if my water bursts at home? I don't want to rush in and be all panicked and get medicated right away. I think this time I am going to confirm I'm at 5 cm before I get any drugs at all.
Ask your doc or midwife what their policy is. I always read the 24 hour thing and was surprised when she said because Im gbs negative I can wait 72 hours (but would have to check temps etc to make sure no infection happens). She would not have me at the hospital until my contractions were close enough together. Sometimes the hospital can slow labour down, as can the epidural, so staying home as long as you can may be best.
My hospital will check you out but if you're not contracting will send you home for up to 24hours after which they'll induce you due to risk of infection. You don't have to do anything you don't want to they can only advise.
Yes, absolutely. Actually, generally in the UK, they aren't concerned about your waters going until they've been gone for over 24 hours. It used to be 96 hours but then NICE changed the guidelines, not really because of any strong evidence that 24 is better than 96 though. But waters breaking first is a totally normal thing and not a medical emergency, so yes, I'd sit back and relax at home and wait for things to start up.
My waters broke first, no sign of anything at all happening beforehand, just woke up in the middle of the night to a gush. I had a home birth anyway, so obviously there was nowhere to rush off to (so of course, if my waters went first and I stayed at home and gave birth there, it's perfectly safe for you to hang out at home until labour starts, all other things being fine). But I just did some time on all fours (had a posterior baby and wanted to make sure she was positioned well), relaxed on my birth ball, went downstairs and had breakfast and some tea, emailed a few people who I wanted to let know I was in labour, and then went back to relaxing on my birth ball. My labour started up with just mild cramps within an hour and I was fully dilated within about 6 hours and starting to push. I think things happened so quickly because I was at home and relaxed rather than rushing off anywhere and stressed. Cortisol and adrenaline are oxytocin antagonists, so they actually stop your body making oxytocin and oxytocin is what causes you to dilate and progress in labour. If you are stressed or rushed or otherwise disrupted, your body can literally go backwards and un-dilate. So the longer you can stay somewhere you are relaxed, the better.
Beyond that, here they would probably tell you to stay at home anyway, unless there was some other complication they were worried about that needed to be monitored. You can monitor your temp at home (if it starts to go up, it's a sign of infection and I would definitely get yourself looked at). Some ladies take high doses of vitamin C at the start of a labour where waters have broken first, which helps prevent infection. Also, avoid vaginal exams unless you absolutely need one for some other reason than checking progression. Gloves aren't sterile. They are meant to protect the health professional wearing them from contact with your body fluids, not to protect you. So every time you get an exam, it is an opportunity for bacteria to be introduced into the vagina, and if you're in hospital, this includes this like MRSA. If you need one, get one. But otherwise, just let things take their natural course. Your body will push when it needs to, so you don't really need to be told to do it by someone else. But if you do want a check, just have them hold off as long as possible until it's obvious things are close.
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