Stands for “artificial rupture of membranes.” This means that the bag of waters is released on purpose by your doctor or midwife. It is done with an amniohook and does not hurt at all as the amniotic sac does not contain nerves. Reasons for doing this may be to encourage labor to speed up or sometimes as a method of inducing labor. Some care providers do this routinely during labor. It is not safe to do if the baby is high in the pelvis, also known as “floating.” During labor if dilation remains at a certain point for an extended period of time, the bag of waters can be released to help the baby’s head descend and apply more firmly to the cervix to aid dilation. If an induction becomes necessary AROM can be one way of encouraging labor to begin rather than starting pitocin. Your doctor or midwife will usually want the baby to be born within 24 hours of performing AROM. The decision and procedure should be discussed with you before it is done.