Monday, October 30, 2006

Waters or wee?

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your waters have broken as women may experience a sort of "dripping" effect. I was very interested to read this from a midwife on an online forum:

For years I was aware that women often had a watery loss about aweek before
they went into labour and I just called it a cervical 'weep'. Iwas laughed at by
several colleagues and GPs that I worked with at the timebut I continued to
reassure women that this was quite normal and a positive sign for the start of
labour. Some twenty years on through my midwiferycareer I attended a wonderful
study day lead by Tricia Anderson and Stephanie Meakin. Part of this day was
dedicated to the cervix and the changes it went through during pregnancy. To my
great joy, amusement andchagrin (because I had never got round to researching
the subject!) therewas all the evidence describing the change in the cervical
collagen which allows the cervix to dilate. The 'old' collagen is broken down
and, in many women, appears as a watery loss from their vagina. The collagen
change also requires a high level of glucose so this explains the woman's need
for sugary food for about a week before she goes into labour. The loss can come in
dribs and drabs or may present in a gush, as if the membranes have broken.

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