Assumption: If water breaks before labor begins, labor must be induced within 24 hours to avoid infection.
In this study, women with premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) between 34 and 37 weeks were assigned to two different groups. Some were induced and others were monitored. There was no significant difference in outcomes between the two groups.
Since I was in this situation myself, I was very interested in this study. I am glad to know that it is safe to wait for the baby and that an immediate induction is not necessary to protect the baby from harm. Since induction drugs often lead to more difficult contractions and inhibited hormone release, I made the decision to avoid them, personally. Knowing she is not putting her baby at risk will help others make this decision with peace of mind. 🙂
Assumption: Once membranes have ruptured, women are safer in the hospital than at home.
Yet another topic in which there is not enough information to make a full conclusion. These studies are interesting, but need more data!
The studies examined here measured outcomes when waters broke preterm. The studies covered 116 women, so the pool is too small to make definite conclusions, but of those women, people who STAYED AT HOME after the rupture were ultimately more satisfied with the experience and had no worse outcomes for mom or baby. Women who went to the hospital were also more likely to have a cesarean birth.
My personal experience includes water breaking at 36 weeks and waiting 3 days for labor to begin. I was not uncomfortable and was careful to protect against infection. I was certainly much more comfortable at home with my family than I would have been in the hospital and am grateful that I was “allowed” to be at home during this time. All worked out fine and Baby N got an extra 3 days of gestation. 🙂 But I’m just one case…