Pre-labour Rupture of Membranes: impatience and risk

NCT Kent Doulas:

Really interesting post about the evidence behind current hospital policy to augment a woman’s labour if her water’s break prior to labour starting.

Originally posted on MidwifeThinking:

Edited and updated: May 2013

Most women experience their waters breaking towards the end of labour, and amniotic fluid plays an important role in the labour process. However, a significant minority of women experience their waters breaking before labour begins. The standard approach to this situation is to augment labour by using prostaglandins and/or syntocinon (aka pitocin) to stimulate contractions. Women who choose to wait are often told their baby is at increased risk of infection and they are encouraged to have IV antibiotics during labour. In my experience most women agree to have their labour augmented rather than wait. I wonder how many of these women would choose a different path if they knew there was no increased risk of infection for their baby?

The rush to start labour and get the baby out after the waters have broken is fairly new. When I first qualified in 2001…

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