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Nancy SullivanBaths in Early Labor
by Nancy Sullivan, CNM, MS, FACNM

Q. If my water breaks early in labour, can I still soak in the tub without worrying about infection?

A. I have worked as a midwife at two hospitals where we have jacuzzi baths and a birthing tub, and we do not have any restrictions on women getting into the water after their amniotic sac breaks. We have never had any infection, either in the mother or in the baby because of this. I have also helped moms with home births, and they loved to be in the bath tub. We never got anyone out because the sac broke. So, my advice is, get in the water and relax! The exceptions would be if the amniotic fluid were stained with meconium (baby poop) or a lot of bright red blood (bloody mucus is OK) or if you hadn't felt normal baby movement. Then I would contact your midwife.

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