Doesn't My Water Need to Break For Baby to Be Born?

I have had a great many conversations with expecting parents about the amniotic sac and it's purpose in labor and birth. There is a great misconception in the lay-community that a woman's bag of water has to break for baby to be born.

Consequentially, the same prevalent thought is found in the medical community. As a result, doctors and midwives will routinely offer to break the bag of water 'so that the baby can be born' - reiterating this already errant belief.

Guess what? A woman's water does not need to break for a baby to be born. In fact, leaving the water intact for as long as nature deems necessary has benefits.

Picture this: a nice, soft, pliable, water balloon opening your cervix vs a hairy skin-covered balloon. The one will dilate you more evenly and gently than the other.

Another benefit: the intact membranes keep baby safe from GBS and other bacteria living in the mom's birth canal and on the attendants hands.

The following video shows a beautiful water birth where the baby is born in the caul (membranes). The membranes remain intact throughout the labor and birth. It is one of single most beautiful videos I have ever seen. Unfortunately, it is very rare in todays micromanaged settings, but a feast to behold... Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

nicole, this was an incredible video to watch ~ i would have like to have seen more of it! thanks for posting...


Queen of Carrots said...

I was very fortunate in my first birth to have a doctor who didn't ask to break the water, even after a very long, slow labor and a lip left on the cervix. My water did finally break somewhere in the pushing (I was too tired to notice when!), but the baby probably started out posterior and needed that extra room to maneuver until then. If I'd had broken water or an epidural I'm sure I would have wound up with an emergency c-section. Instead I was home fixing supper that night (after a good nap!)

Stacy said...

Tried to watch but it came up as no longer available. :(

Kathryn said...


My son was born a year ago next month, and though we knew the water didn't have to break, we expected it to--we expected that would be a sign that things were speeding up. Finally it came time for him to come out and as he emerged the water bag broke. Quite an experience and I appreciated the extra cushion. Also, it made for a clean baby! I was surprised how he didn't have a drop of blood or anything on him. Pretty cool.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...


My fiance is 40 wks gone and has been having alot of problems with SPD. she's decided on having a water birth so that hopefully the birth won't be so bad on her hips.

I think the video above is amazing! i've never seen anything quite like it before.

Really can't wait till our girl's here :) thanks for sharing it let me know, kind of what to expect.

Martha A. said...

I had two babies that the water did not break. One was being born when it broke and the 4th one was born in the caul...once he was out, they broke it and took it off his face.

Natalie said...

My sister in law just gave birth, yesterday afternoon to my nephew who was born in the amniotic sac. Really had no idea that this could happen, but it did and the baby is fine, as well as the mother. Thanks for the post, really interesting :)

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