Water breaking: Understand this sign of labor

Water breaking worries? Prepare yourself for childbirth by getting the facts about this important sign of labor.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you’re pregnant, you might be curious about your water breaking — when it will happen, what it will feel like and what to do next. Recognize the signs of water breaking and know what it means for the timeline of your baby’s delivery.

What will happen when your water breaks?

During pregnancy, your baby is surrounded and cushioned by a fluid-filled membranous sac called the amniotic sac. Typically, at the beginning of or during labor your membranes will rupture — also known as your water breaking.

If your water breaks before labor starts, it’s called prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM). Previously it was known as premature rupture of membranes.

When your water breaks you might experience a sensation of wetness in