When amniotic fluid starts leaking, it marks the end of your pregnancy. It means that your baby is ready to arrive. However, sometimes it may also happen much before than your actual due date. This may cause a lot of anxiety and stress as you may not know whether it really is the time for your delivery.
Here is everything that you should know about leaking amniotic fluid:
What is Amniotic Fluid?
During pregnancy, the baby is nestled safely in a fluid-filled bag or amniotic sac in the womb. The amniotic sac generates fluid after two weeks of conception – this fluid is the life support system of the fetus along the umbilical cord and placenta. It also enables the baby to breathe and swallow the liquid in the second trimester. The nutrients in the fluid also aid in the development of limbs, muscles, lungs and the digestive system of the baby. They allow the baby to move, turn and kick with ease and protect it from infection.
Leaking Amniotic Fluid
Your developing fetus uses amniotic fluid for many things, which leads to the rise and fall in its levels every day. As your pregnancy progresses, the amniotic fluid increases from a few milliliters to 800 ml or 1000 ml by the 36th week. The fluid starts to reduce from the 38th week until it is time for your delivery.
When the bag of the amniotic sac ruptures it causes amniotic fluid to leak. In case this rupture or water break occurs during labor, it is called Spontaneous Rupture of Membranes (SROM). If it leaks in the 37th or 38th week, then it is called Premature Rupture of the Membranes (PROM).
It is also possible that a small hole could develop in the sac and lead to slow leaking amniotic fluid. You may think it is urine leak or vaginal fluid. However, amniotic fluid may have a few of these qualities:
- Clear, white-flecked, and/or tinged with mucus or blood
- No odour
- Usually saturates the underwear
Another way to tell if the fluid is amniotic fluid is to first empty the bladder and then place a sanitary pad or panty liner in your underwear. After 30 minutes to an hour, check the fluid that is on the pad. If it is yellow in color, it is most likely urine. If it isn’t, it could be amniotic fluid.
When to see your doctor
Leaking amniotic fluid can cause several problems to you and your baby. While you may naturally leak a small amount of fluid, losing too much of it can lead to complications such as birth defects, miscarriage, premature birth, still birth, slowed growth or increased risk for C-section.
Call your doctor if your fluid has a tinge of green or brownish yellow. This may indicate that your baby has had a bowel movement in the womb, which can cause breathing complications. See your doctor immediately if your membranes get ruptured or your water breaks. Remember to note the color of the discharge to tell your doctor. Our team at KIMS Cuddles will explain more about it in detail when you’re under their care.
*Information shared here is for general purpose. lease take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.