Your Water Breaks First - A Date to PROM (Premature Rupture of Membranes)

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Preface:

Full disclosure, dear reader, I have had a hard time remaining objective on this topic and have found it difficult not to let my personal experiences influence the information in this post. I have done my best but for the record:

  1. I am a PPROM (pre-term premature rupture of membranes). I have one child, my water broke almost a month before my due date, which led to further complications including maternal and fetal fevers, meconium staining, and by the next morning an emergency Cesarean Section. Scary beginning, healthy outcomes.
  2. My husband almost died from “strep throat” of the elbow. He bumped his elbow on a doorframe in the middle of a Friday night, long story short, he tore a tiny hole into one of his meniscus sacs (fluid filled pouches that cushion and protect your joints, much like the amniotic sac that cushions and protects your baby). The existing Strep bacteria in his body migrated to his meniscus sac and took advantage of the weakness.  The first morning his elbow was quite swollen, he called our primary care doctor, who was not concerned, didn’t even consider the possibility of infection, gave OTC advice, and said to come in to the office on Monday if it was still bothering him. Needless to say that was the entirely wrong course of action and our delay in seeking immediate treatment almost cost him his life. We certainly didn’t wait until Monday, we ended up bypassing that doctor and went straight to the emergency room when his elbow was the size of a large cantaloupe where he had very risky emergency surgery. Very scary, really long recovery, but a healthy outcome. I have a genuine respect regarding the risk of infection and popping your membranes whether it happens spontaneously or it is artificially ruptured by medical staff— these actions open the door. Also, there is an increasing amount of evidence that existing infectious agents can be an underlying cause of spontaneous membrane rupture especially in PPROM.
  3. At the time of this post I have seen “water breaks first” happen in about 30% of my Birth Doula clients, rather than the national 8-10% average. It is my hope that larger numbers will sort out my personal statistics in due time.
  4. My intense love of history, the massive amount of controversy I discovered, and researching all the many angles that surround this topic has turned this post into a mammoth adventure.  Alright let’s go!