The rupturing of the amniotic sac is referred to as waters breaking by most non-medical personnel and this may be an indicator of labor. When the amniotic sac ruptures the production of the prostaglandin hormone increases and this speeds up the contractions.
There are many misconceptions about this process and this is probably due to the Hollywood portrayal of the this event. In pregnancy there is also the chance of premature rupturing of the membranes, which can cause problems for the fetus and mother.
When Does Your Water Break?
Most people believe that the water breaks at the onset of labor and, although this is true for many women, it can actually happen at any time during labor. Many women report their water breaking well after their first contraction and this isn’t usually a problem.
The membranes can also be artificially ruptured to induce labor. This is achieved by brushing a small plastic hook against the membranes to encourage the fetus to move against the cervix. This technique is widely disputed, but is more commonly used than most people think.