How do I know if I am leaking amniotic fluid? Well, before we answer this question, consider a situation we’ve seen all too often on TV and in movies: the camera pans to a heavily pregnant woman, her face a picture of panic, the classic “I think my water broke!” line which for some reason prompts the peanut gallery to panic, too.
While this isn’t exactly how things usually happen (makes for a nice plot twist though), amniotic fluid is an essential part of labor and childbirth—and a critical part of pregnancy. But what’s its role during pregnancy?
How Do I Know If I am Leaking Amniotic Fluid?
You may wonder, what is amniotic fluid? What kind of liquid is this? Why is it even spelled that way?! 🤭Kidding aside, let’s take a look at some of the facts about amniotic fluid.
What is Amniotic Fluid?
It’s the warm, fluid cover that supports and protects your baby while it grows in your womb. This vital fluid contains hormones, nutrients, your baby’s urine, and immune system cells.
At its peak, your amniotic fluid is about 1 quart. After week 36 of pregnancy, fluid levels begin to go down as your body readies itself for childbirth.
What’s an Amniotic Fluid Leak?
When your doctor does an ultrasound before childbirth, they will estimate the level of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby. At some point, the fluid is likely to start leaking.
If too much amniotic fluid leaks out, this is called oligohydramnios. The fluid may also leak out when the amniotic sac ruptures, a phenomenon called ‘the rupturing of membranes’.
Often, it can be difficult to tell if you’re leaking amniotic fluid or not. That said, we have listed a quick rundown of some of the symptoms that expecting moms should watch out for.
How to Tell If You’re Leaking Amniotic Fluid
Let’s face it—fluids such as occasional spotting, discharge and even a bit of urine when you sneeze or laugh can all be quite normal during pregnancy. So how do you tell if your amniotic fluid is leaking or what you’re going through is normal? Here are a few signs to watch out for:
Unlike urine, amniotic fluid has no odor. If you’re leaking something odorless, it’s most likely amniotic fluid.
In general, amniotic fluid is clear. By contrast, urine is yellowish and discharge tends to be cloudy white. Are you noticing a small flow or continuous trickle of colorless fluid? If so, it’s more than likely to be amniotic fluid.
Continuously leaking fluid? Is it collecting in your panty liner every few hours? If yes, you’re likely leaking amniotic fluid.
If you’ve got signs of an amniotic fluid leak, you aren’t sure if what you’re leaking is actually amniotic fluid, or you’re noticing discharge or fluid tinged with blood, brown or green, let your healthcare provider know immediately. It’s also imperative to not have sex, use tampons or engage in anything that might bring bacteria to your vagina.
Leaking amniotic fluid, at any stage during pregnancy, could be a cause for concern. But knowing the symptoms can help you call for medical assistance and avoid any further complications.
Suddenly remembered funny, unforgettable memories when your water broke? Share it with us through the comments below – we’d love to know we’re not the only ones with epic memories!
Frequently Asked Questions
What does amniotic fluid smell like?
Amniotic fluid doesn’t smell at all, unlike urine.
What color is amniotic fluid?
Amniotic fluid is clear although some claim it’s a bit yellowish.
Can you slowly leak amniotic fluid?
I certainly tried but no luck, it will definitely gush out. And if you’re a new mom, you’ll definitely stare in wonder and ask, “When will it stop?” 😊
How do you tell if your water broke or you peed?
If it’s just pee, you’ll know because urine has its certain odor. On the other hand, if you’re water broke, you won’t smell anything at all. Some even confessed that they stared somewhere and wondered why it’s not stopping until they finally realized what’s really going on. 😁
How much time do I have after my water breaks?
Your baby (or babies) should be delivered within 24 hours after your water broke. That’s the recommended timeframe to avoid any complications which may harm both you and your baby. Although, some moms testified that they’ve given birth more than 24 hours after their water broke without any problems.