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Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM)
This is when your amniotic sac or membranes break prior to labour starting. PPROM is preterm premature rupture of membranes – this is said to occur if the woman’s membranes break prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy.
A dribble of fluid is usually due to a break of the hind-waters and this often reseals itself quickly, and the body produces more amniotic fluid to replace what was lost.
See also: Premature Labour
One of the major concerns with PROM is maternal infection. This is not a major concern in an UP/UC as evidence shows that infections are usually caused by vaginal examinations, introduction of pathogenic bacteria to the vagina, and any other medical interventions that involve inserting objects into the vagina. Those things are not routine in an UP/UC.
Research has shown the risk of infection is only increased in a woman with PROM after she has gone 4 days without labour starting. Perphas this is because women get lax in their precautions so be aware of this and be strict about your hygiene.
If the membranes suddenly rupture and fluid gushes out, there is a risk of cord prolapse where the cord is washed out with the fluid. This risk of prolapse is greater in women whose babies have not engaged yet. Cord prolapse is rare.
Babies may be born prematurely if PROM occurs preterm.
Care & Precautions
Commonsense precautions until labour starts and the baby is on the way include;
Avoid vaginal & pelvic examinations
Avoid perineal massage
Avoid sitting in water
Stay at home til labour starts
Avoid contacts outside your usual contacts
Check temperature regularly
Watch for symptoms such as pain or soreness in the abdomen, fevers or bad smells from the amniotic fluid
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
Avoid antibiotic use
Get as much rest as you can
Treatment & precautions until labour starts can include;
Taking a natural antibiotic that does not destroy your beneficial gut flora (Echinacea root infusion or tincture, Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) )
Taking probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidis) and prebiotic foods (garlic, oatmeal, whole grains, greens like spinach, dandelion greens, collard greens, kale etc, berries, fruit, legumes like kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, lentils etc) to build up and maintain your beneficial gut flora which will defend against infection.
Maintaining good nutrition, and increasing vitamin E, C and bioflavoid intake.
The white stuff on oranges and citrus fruit is very high in bioflavoids and is said to strengthen your amniotic sac. (Most people peel it off.)
Antibiotics are usually the standard method of treatment for PROM within the medical model of health care. Antibiotics and induction of labour if the mother is close enough to term. If the mother is not close to term, antibiotics and strict bed rest is usually prescribed.
Unless you are showing signs of an infection and want to opt for antibiotics, it is not usually a good idea to take antibiotics as a preventive measure.