What if my water breaks in public? is a common concern for pregnant women– it’s right up there with worrying about pooping during labor!
I spoke with some mamas whose water broke in public to find out what it’s like when this fear comes true.
With Zuleika’s third baby, she was getting acupuncture treatment when her water broke. “I was 12 days past my estimated due date and my acupuncturist put some pressure on points on my ankles in hopes it would turn prodromal labor into actual labor,” Zuleika says. “Five minutes into the treatment and the real contractions started straight away! The poor acupuncturist went white as a sheet and drove me home in her car in a panic.”
Talia kept it on the down low when her amniotic sac broke in public. “With my first child, my water broke at my grandma’s nursing home,” she explains. “I called my midwife and she told me to ask someone for a pad. It didn’t dawn on me until after that maybe I should have asked for an adult diaper!”
Candice’s water released while she was at a restaurant for one last date night before becoming parents. “I was a sitting at the table and I felt a small gush. I went to the bathroom to check to make sure it wasn’t pee,” Candice says. “Both stalls were occupied with two women who were just chatting away. I said something like, ‘Excuse me ladies, I hate to interrupt, but I think my water broke and I would like to check. Can you hurry up, please?’” After Candice’s announcement, the stall doors flew open, both women ran out and asked if she needed an ambulance. While she didn’t need one, her labor was beginning so she headed to the hospital. “We missed the movie we had planned!” she says.
At least Susie’s broke close to home! “I was walking down the street when it broke with a loud splat. I had to walk towards the mailman visibly leaving a trail of dripping water,” she admits.
While stories like these can be fun to hear, most of us don’t really need to worry. Certified Professional Midwife Sheena Criswell of the Charlotte, NC area says, “Only 15% of ladies have their water break before labor starts. For the majority of moms, their water won’t break until they are either pushing or close to the pushing phase. For most of my moms whose water broke before labor, it broke while they were in bed or on the toilet. I did have one client whose water broke while at a wedding reception!” she says.
If you are in active labor, you likely won’t be out shopping, at a wedding reception, or having one last date at a restaurant. It’s rare for a mom’s water to break in public!
However, if it makes you feel better to be prepared for the “what if” of your water breaking while you are out and about, here are some tips:
- Keep extra towels and a change of pants in the car.
- Wrap your car seat with a trash bag and put a towel on top for the last weeks of pregnancy.
- Keep an adult diaper or pad in your purse.
Don’t let fear of your water breaking keep you from going out in public in those last weeks before baby comes. If by rare chance it does break when you aren’t at home, don’t panic or be embarrassed– be excited that it’s almost baby time!