This is such a common question in our Prenatal Education classes.
FACT: Only 15 percent of women's water actually spontaneously ruptures.
As a doula, selfishly I do love it because it is a concrete sign your baby is on the way.
But slow down. Its not going to slip out *usually*.
It is super common to have your waters break, and have NO contractions. I repeat.
Which may leave you thinking... now what? Do we go to the hospital? Is something wrong with me? With the baby?
*disclaimer... this is for someone full term. If you are preterm please contact your health care provider*
1: Look at your amniotic fluid. Smell it. You need to try to figure out that its not pee (yes this happens, more than you would think), also you need to see if its clear or not.
Sometimes babies are silly and poop when they are still on the inside. This is called Meconium. Your nurse/ob/midwife will want to know if your waters were clear or not. So take note.
2: What time of day is it? If its the middle of the night and you are not having contractions, put on an adult diaper, or a pad, (take a gravol) and head to bed. That's right. Go back to sleep. It may be one of the harder things you've ever done, but its worth it to try to sneak in a couple more hours of rest. You can ramp this thing into gear when its light out.
If its day time (6am-6pm) there are ways you can encourage labour. Breast pump, walking stairs or curb walking. Even sometimes a nap and some carbs can do it.
3: Feel for fetal movements. Thats another question they will ask you.
You do not need to rush to the hospital. If you have an OB, they would like you to be in labour by 24 hours (in London Ontario), give yourself like 18 to get things moving on your own. There is no rush.
if you have a midwife, you can give them a call with a heads up. They will likely tell you the same thing I have though if its the middle of the night.
Don't believe me...ask Ina May Gaskin. If you know anything about birth you should know her. She's a guru when it comes to physiological birth.