One of the long-told signs of labor that many women have heard in Minnesota to watch for is their water breaking. This is a bit of a confusing thing because it is neither water nor is it always a sign delivery is imminent. You should understand the concept if you are pregnant. It can help you to know what is happening with your body and your baby.

The Mayo Clinic explains that what people call your “water” is actually the fluid that surrounds your baby in the womb contained in the membranes. When someone says your water broke, they really mean your membranes broke. The fluid is water-like but is usually yellow. You may not even know it has broken because it can just leak out a little at a time. It does not always gush.

In most cases, once your water breaks, you will go into labor and soon deliver your baby. However, if your membranes break too early, it can increase the risks of harm to you and your baby. Your doctor may put you in the hospital and give you medication to help prevent infection. You may also be given corticosteroids. Your doctor will try to minimize any harm to your and the baby while delaying birth so your baby has a better chance at survival outside the womb.

If your water breaks, you should seek medical care right away. It could mean you are going into labor or it could be a sign you need medical intervention. This information is for education and is not legal advice.