In almost every show that we watch which includes a birth there is a very dramatic water breaking scene and shortly after the baby is born. (Unless you are Rachel, and everyone has their baby before Emma is born!) -Friends, Season Eight
Well, did you know the bag of water breaking is actually not the best indicator of knowing where you are in labor? Have you heard of the terms, "Veil birth" or "caul birth"? These are terms used for when baby is being born with an intact bag of water also called amnionic sac. Labor can begin and progress completely without the bags of water breaking. It's amazing how our bodies work! ❤️ My mother shares that she doesn't quit remember if it was my birth or one of my sister's births but one of us was going to arrive in caul. Her medical team was not comfortable supporting this type of birth so they ruptured her water bag so we could continue our journey. According to the National Institute of Health as of 2019, 1 in every 80,000 babies are born in caul. Some people have thought to rely on their bags of water breaking to determine when to go to their place of birth. Many times, I have shared with the couples I have worked with that this isn't the best way to determine labor progress. Your labor can continue to develop even without the bag of water breaking.
Media does a great job of making us think that labor and birth are scary, painful, and brought on only by a bag of water breaking very dramatically in the middle of a conversation. As we know, not everything we see in the media is real and this is the perfect example of that.
Every birth and body are different, but it is very common for labor to begin in the evening or nighttime. When the body is most relaxed, and it is in the rest and digest mode. Labor could begin with contractions and a couple of other signs of labor. Some signs of labor could be strong and consistent contractions, inability to get comfortable, can't rest, and can't focus on an activity. These along with discharge, bloody show and possible water breaking are signs of labor progress.
My mother shares she didn't have spontaneous water breaking or contractions in the middle of the night, she was admitted into the hospital for her inductions and only when the medication they gave her started kicking in did she begin to have any signs of labor. She shares that her inductions took several days, and they were very uncomfortable for her.
When and if your bag of water breaks your medical team tends to keep a closer eye on you because the risk of infection increases. Evidence Based Birth has a great podcast called Evidence on AROM, AVD, and Internal Monitoring. AROM stands for artificial rupture of membranes which is when your medical team uses a tool to break your bag. of water.
As mentioned previously, you could be in active labor and admitted into the hospital (if you are birthing in a hospital) with your bag of water intact, or not broken. Your medical team might offer to break your bag of water in hopes that it may help progress your labor. Please know that you always have the option to decline anything that is offered to you if you do not feel comfortable. Once your bag of water is broken, you are put on a clock to minimize the risk of infection and you are monitored closely. Artificially breaking the bag of water does not guarantee anything will develop a certain way. Always ask questions and know your options before making a decision on any intervention offered to you.
Did you know I teach about this and so much more in my birth education classes? These classes are currently only offered through my birth doula packages but wouldn't it be great to have these classes available individually? Book a free consultation with me and ask me about these classes. I may just be able to offer these classes to your outside. of the full doula package!
A gift for Tia Jasmin? I am so glad you asked! I am feeling extra blessed this year and so happy to say I am currently not in need of anything. I have however been thinking of the following. In 2019 I was looking for a studio to rent for my business. I found what I thought was a great place and I went ahead with the process. When I was writing the lease agreement with the manager of the place, she asked me the name of my business. I told her "Oxomohco" (OH-SHO-MO-KO) and she turned to look at me and said, "What?" I repeated the name to her, and she rolled her eyes at me saying, "No one is going to remember that." I have now been in business as Oxomohco Birth & Body Work in my own office since 2020 and have served many families. With that being said, I would like to invite you to send me pictures and or videos of you and or your babies saying the name of my business. Write a review if you have not already and help up lift my small Indigenous business. You can send these pictures and videos via email, Instagram, or the WhatsApp. (I am not an Apple person, so no texts, SORRY!) Continue to support my small business and share my work with others. It is not easy running a small business but each of you make it so worth it! Thank you for your support!