How do midwives check waters have gone?

I think I've got the opportunity to go through my notes from Jak's birth and I want to know how the midwife tells that your waters have gone. I don't know whether it's when they do an internal, or whether they just take your word for it?

Em + Jak x x x

[Modified by: EmilyB on 23 February 2010 18:16:48 ]


  • With me they did not went with my word but did an internal. A few days after that in hospital (waters went at 33 weeks) I had a scan and it showed above average amount of water left and they did another internal to check again. They did not believe that they had gone but confirmed it again. (and all the wet pads should have been a clue to them as well image
  • My waters started leaking at 35wks and they pretty much just took my word for it, I also had the wet pads to prove it though! x
  • I had an internal to confirm x
  • even though my pads were very wet and bloody i still had an internal, it was gushing whist she was looking!!
  • So if they did an internal and I'd said "I think my waters went" they'd tell me they hadn't if I was wrong? Basically I said I thought they'd gone but were trickling, the midwives at hospital didn't do an internal but my own midwife visited my home and did. They induced me 2 days later but when I got to 8cm dialated my midwife (different one) said she didn't know why they'd thought my waters had gone, as they hadn't and she popped them. Afterwards I think I had a conversation with her about hind and fore waters, but I was in a lot of pain and pushing by then so can't remember clearly!

    I've always thought I should've insisted on having a scan or something, or that my midwife should've known, I think it's part of teh reason I can't get over Jak's birth and I'm in the state I am now.
  • with my first pregnancy,my waters were leaking at 35wks but i didnt know it,i just thought i was leaking and when i told the midwife they tested my waters and they was a lot of protien in there and when i got to the hospital to get checked out i think i was 3-4cm dialated,my second pregnancy (twins) they was no mistaken my waters going,it was like a waterfall lucky for me i was on the loo having a wee at the time,so when i phoned the labour ward as i was 31wks pregnant,she kept asking me if they had gone,was i sure they had gone,i was like hell yes they have gone and they is blood too,i kept putting pads on and it was no use as as soon as i stood up,they were soaked so in the end i thought screw this and grabed a bath towel,when i hobbled in to the labour ward she was said,oh yes your waters have gone,i thought no sh!t sherlock! and i was 8cm dialated :lol:

  • when i worked on maternity years ago they used a swab that turned orange if it was amniotic fluid, didnt see them use it on me thoughx
  • Thanks for all the advice girls, I meant to say that in my last post! I think I might be slightly justified in feeling the way I do, I may have to look into putting it down as a complaint. When the midwife checked me at home I wasn't dialated, but my cervix was quite thin, so it was on its way, and when I went to the antenatal day assessment unit they didn't check me internally just hooked me up to a machine to see if I was contracting (which I wasn't) I'm starting to think I'm right and baby could've stayed put until labour happened naturally, at least I can mention this when I discuss my notes (if it actually ever happens)

    Thank you loads x x x
  • When I was having Evie I stood up and had a sudden gush of fluid. It was just one gush then it stopped, so I had no towel or anything to take in. MW gave me an internal with a thing like they use for a smear test. She said itdidn't look like waters as she couldn't see any fluid up there (basically she told me I must have weed myself :lol: I strenuously deny this!). They actually took a swab but I never saw that MW again or had any results given to me from the swab. :\?

    I had my baby less than 24 hours later though, and my waters popped just a few mins before she was born. So I still don't know if it was a gush of the hindwaters or wee (though tmi it wasn't yellow and stinky like wee would be).

    I'm not sure of your story hun but will a MW or consultant go over your notes with you? Was it that you were induced because they thought your waters had gone but in reality they hadn't? I hope you can get some answers hun. xxx
  • My waters went with a trickle and rang the hospital to say I thought they had gone but wasn't sure and was having mild contractions but thought they were only BH ones. They asked me to come to the hospital and did an internal (which bloody hurt!), said yes it was my waters but to go home as I wasn't dilated and I would be more comfy at home.

    Contractions slowly got worse along with more water (went through LOADS of pads). You normally know as the smell of it is strange; almost like semen (or was that just my imagination!) and no matter how hard you clench it still comes!

    Hope you get some answers hon xxxx
  • Garfield - my first internal, which wasdone by 'my' midwife at home, bloody hurt too!!!

    Lea - that' seactly it, I was induced because my waters had gone and I didn't start contracting on my own. I've gone over and over it in my head, pretty much once a day since Jak was born three months ago, and I am convinced they should've checked. My midwife scared the crap out of me and harped on about Group B strep, telling me about a girl she'd delivered 16 years earlier who was deaf and had serious learning difficulties because of GBS, so I was petrified and just went along with what everyone said. Jak got stuck when I got to pushing - I ended up having him delivered by forceps. I can't help but think he got stuck because he wasn't ready in the first place, and every day I go over and over what I should've done - I should've insisted they check my waters had gone. I'm hoping they'll go through my notes with me, I've got to go and see the doc about it and hopefully he'll tell me how I get it arranged.
  • Hiya, i'm a midwife and generally the easiest/usual way to check is by doing a speculum examination. You can usually see pooling of the amniotic fluid. I would have thought they'd have confirmed it with you if they saw pooling though. It may be that you had a hindwater leak? if there is any doubt to whether or not they have ruptured the safest thing would be to induce delivery as the risk of infection would be higher had they ruptured. Unfortunatly it's about balancing the risk. Also higher risk of infection after examination if waters gone so if they do a vaginal examination with fingers, not speculum you will need induction within hours of that examination, how many probably depends on which hospital. When a midwife does a vaginal examination you can sometimes feel if membranes intact or not as babys head will feel 'shiny' as opposed to feeling it's hair but if just a leak this wouldn't be the case. Hope this helps you a bit, I'm sure hospital will go through the notes with you xxxxx
  • She didn't do that, she gave me an exam with her fingers. The more I think about it the more I just want some answers and ultimately someone to acknowledge that, for some reason, my midwife totally failed me. If I were a cynical woman I'd suggest it was because she was desperate to get me into hospital so she didn't have to be there for a home birth. I've got a lot of questions surrounding my care during pregnancy as there are a lot of things that other women I know, mainly on here, had done or monitored while they were pregnant and I didn't. I guess I should've said something, but stupidly I thought the midwives I saw knew best.
    When she examined me the morning after my waters had started to leak, she said he'd ruptured the waters by having his face turned in the wrong direction and he broke them with his nose. Thinking back, I've not got a clue how that makes sense if I wasn't dilated?
  • How bizarre! Didn't know babies could break waters with their nose!!! What a strange thing to say! If she was in any doubt that your waters had gone she should have done a speclum examination rather than a vaginal examination with fingers to reduce risk of infection. And your right, if you were not dilated it would be extremely difficult to determine the position of the head, although you have a fair idea from abdominal palpation where baby is lying Im not sure how she would know it's head had rotated and broken your waters. All sounds a bit bizarre to me! Get your notes!! It would be interesting to see what position she stated babys head was in. When you write up the examination you usually write your reasons for doing it and than your findings, I.e dilatation, effacement, position etc so it should all be in your notes xxx
  • Thanks again hun. Quick question, if they go through my notes will the midwife be there? Really don't want to see her again!
  • Your welcome, no I doubt it, anyway just request that she isn't there. All midwives have to have a supervisor and they often help to deal with complaints etc or it would be the team leader xx
  • Excellent, because after everything I think I might need to complain, I would hate for anyone to feel like I do about their birth and I do feel she contributed to it happening the way it did. Thank you so much for your help x x x
Sign In or Register to comment.

Featured Discussions