This information has been prepared for women choosing to go home after assessment, once their waters have broken before labour and they do not wish, or need, to stay in hospital.
You can also download this information as a PDF, or ask for a copy from your midwife.
Most women (70%) will labour within 24 hours of ruptured membranes.
Before you go home to await labour, we would like to confirm that:
- Your baby is in a ‘head down’ position
- You have no signs of infection
- You have reliable transport to return to hospital quickly if needed
When you return home, it is important to take some basic precautions and know when to call and come in:
- Take your temperature every 4 hours during the day
- If your temperature rises to 37.5°C or higher, please contact your midwife or maternity ward (see contact details below)
- You will need to wear a sanitary pad and change at least every 4 hours during the day
- The colour of the water (amniotic fluid) is normally clear. If the colour of the water changes to green, yellow or is blood stained, please contact your midwife or maternity ward
- If your baby is not moving as much as normal, please contact your midwife or maternity ward
- If you have regular, painful contractions, please contact your midwife or maternity ward
- If you are concerned for ANY reason or feel unwell in any way, please contact your midwife or maternity ward
If any of these things happen, you will be asked to come into the hospital for review.
What can you do to reduce the chance of infection and help your body prepare for labour?
- rest, eat and drink normally
- have a bath or shower if you would like to
- wash your hands carefully before and after going to the toilet or changing your pad
- change your pad regularly
- avoid sexual intercourse
- do not go swimming
- do not use tampons
Southern NSW Local Health District recommends inducing your labour if you have not gone into labour within 24 hours of your waters breaking.
If you are concerned at any time, or if you have any questions, please contact your midwife or maternity ward.