SROM stands for “spontaneous release of membranes.” Unlike the movies, this only happens about 10% of the time before labor has begun. Some women may experience it as a “pop” followed by an obvious gush of fluid. Others may experience a slight trickling of fluid over a period of time. Often a labor pattern will begin after the water releases. Sometimes it takes some time and patience before a pattern begins. Your birth facility will want you to come in right away so they can get a labor pattern started. You can wait a while and see if contractions begin on their own. Take note of the time the waters released. Your provider will likely want your baby delivered or for you to be in advanced labor within 24 hours. Also be aware of the color of the fluid and the approximate amount. Take your temperature. This will give a baseline to see if it rises over time, indicating an infection may be setting in. If the release of membranes doesn’t happen to start labor, the waters will usually release at some time during labor if your provider does not do it for you. A woman can expect that once the water releases, whether on its own or with some assistance, the intensity of labor may step up a notch. It is a great way to encourage labor progress.
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