The amniotic sac is a tissue sac filled with nutrient-rich fluid. This fluid inside the amniotic sac is the amniotic fluid. For almost the entire duration of pregnancy, the fetus is in the uterus, which in turn is protectively surrounded by the flexible and at the same time very stable membranes of the amniotic sac.
The probability of the amniotic sac rupturing during the first months of pregnancy is approximately 0 percent. Find out interesting information about the amniotic sac here.
Table of contents
The Amniotic Sac As A Protective Cover In The Womb
The amniotic sac forms in the womb from about the 12th week of pregnancy. This happens with the beginning of the so-called fetal period. In the course of this, the amnion and the chorion are formed.
These are the two membranes of the egg, which lie closely on top of each other and later provide the embryo with flexibility and full protection in the womb. They are extremely stretchy, very durable – but also extremely thin.
The Rupture Of The Bladder Before Birth
Shortly before or even during birth, the membranes of the amniotic sac will in all likelihood rupture, allowing fluid from inside the envelope surrounding it to leak out. This rupturing of the amniotic sac is triggered by the contractions of the uterus. A real tour de force for mother and child.
What is premature rupture of the membranes all about? And what is a timely or premature rupture of the membranes? What is the probability that the water will break weeks before delivery?
These are questions that many expectant mothers ask themselves time and again, especially before the birth. You can find out the answers to these questions and much more in this guide.
What Characterizes The Amniotic Sac
From the third month of pregnancy, the fetus in the uterus is surrounded by a protective shell. This is filled with amniotic fluid and is called the amniotic sac. This is a unique habitat for the unborn child, providing optimal conditions for it to grow and thrive within a few months.
The amniotic sac provides warmth and protection, and the amniotic fluid it contains supplies the little being with vital nutrients.
How The Amniotic Sac Is Formed
The amniotic sac is formed from the innermost skin of the fertilized egg. This inner skin is called the amnion. The amniotic sac bears a certain resemblance to a transparent balloon.
During the first weeks of pregnancy, the amnion grows comparatively rapidly. As a result, “by nature” the ideal conditions are created to provide sufficient space for the unborn child to develop healthily and grow well.
What The Amniotic Sac And Amniotic Fluid Do
Amniotic fluid is continuously formed inside the amniotic sac. This precious fluid is usually transparent or light ocher in color and is secreted by the cells located inside the amniotic sac. The unborn baby is completely surrounded by it and at the same time experiences a pleasant warmth.
The fluid contains numerous nutrients that are important for the development of the fetus or embryo. In addition to valuable trace elements and proteins, the amniotic fluid also contains potassium, sodium and sugars.
Over the course of the months, other particles also accumulate in the water, such as the baby’s urine. The finest hairs or flakes of skin can also be found in the fluid. However, these are by no means impurities of the amniotic fluid. You do not need to worry about this.
The amniotic sac is a precious protective shield. Your unborn child is protected in the amniotic sac until it is born. It is completely surrounded by the sac so that bacteria, germs, and other pathogens are almost certainly unable to penetrate the amniotic fluid.
If the amniotic sac ruptures before the planned birth or – for whatever reason – shows minute damage or ruptures, a full medical check should be performed. This is the only way to ensure that protection against infection continues.
The amniotic sac not only provides optimal protection against disease. Thanks to the elasticity of the sac, your baby is also very well protected against impacts. A possible shock or impact is very well absorbed by the amniotic sac and the fluid it contains.
Therefore, nothing will happen to your baby if you accidentally fall or hit a solid object with your big belly.
What If The Water Has Broken? The Different Types Of Rupture Of The Membranes
A rupture of the membranes is said to occur when there is a spontaneous rupture of the two membranes or the amniotic sac. As a result, in all likelihood, the fluid contained inside leaks out. There are different types of rupture of the amniotic sac:
The so-called spontaneous rupture of the amniotic sac usually occurs immediately after the onset of labor before birth. In this case, the amniotic sac has broken. It is a clear indication that “the time has come”. Your child will therefore most likely see the light of day within the next few hours.
Regardless of whether you are alone when your water breaks or are already under medical supervision in a hospital, etc… It is not always easy to determine whether your water has actually broken or whether you have lost some urine instead.
It is also not unusual to have discharge or mucus so close to birth. However, the midwife or gynecologist can often tell at first glance whether it is the amniotic sac fluid or urine. If the analysis is not successful at first sight, the fluid is examined with a test strip.
You also have the option of obtaining an appropriate test strip from a pharmacy or your gynecologist before the birth. If your water has broken but you wonder whether the fluid is not just urine, you can play it safe with the test strip.
It is only important that you get such a test strip as soon as possible – and not just before the imminent date of birth.
If The Water Breaks, It Is Absolutely Painless
According to current statistics, premature rupture of the amniotic sac occurs relatively frequently. If the water breaks, the expectant mother usually does not even notice it, as it is absolutely painless. Premature rupture of the amniotic sac is when the amniotic fluid leaks through the opening even before labor starts.
A prematurely ruptured amniotic sac is practically an “invitation” for bacteria, viruses, and germs. Through the resulting opening in the membranes, these pathogens easily enter the amniotic fluid and can cause infections or trigger fever. Naturally, after the water breaks, labor starts.
Premature rupture of the amniotic sac is relatively common. The bladder breaks during the opening period, but the cervix is not yet fully open. Timely rupture of the amniotic sac refers to the opening of the bladder when the cervix is already fully open – about 10 cm wide.
This is the ideal condition for the unborn baby to gradually make its way through the birth canal “to the light of day”.
What You Should Do If Your Water Breaks
If your water breaks prematurely – for example, at home or when you are out and about – you should see your doctor, midwife, or hospital immediately. Let yourself be transported in a lying position and make sure that a soft pillow is placed under your pelvis.
This hollows the lumbar spine slightly upward to the birth pelvis. This is known as the “anti-birthing position”. Then your baby cannot easily slip into the birth canal, which could result in a fall birth.
Many expectant mothers do not consider that an early rupture of the membranes can be relatively painful compared to a timely rupture. This is due to the lack of a soft buffer that protects and “cushions” the cervix.
A delayed rupture of the amniotic sac is comparatively rare. The amniotic sac does not open until some time after the cervix has fully opened. If the antepartum sac is directly in front of the baby’s head in the vagina, the pregnant woman goes into active labor.
The Probability Of Imminent Birth Is High
If the amniotic fluid has not yet escaped, the obstetrician or midwife opens the amniotic sac with a fine hook. This relieves the pressure exerted by the fluid on the mother-to-be’s abdomen.
The birthing mother immediately feels a relief – and the baby’s head can be seen, if she is lucky. The probability that it will now only take a few moments for the birth to be completed is now 95 percent.
The opening of the >amniotic sac usually takes place above the cervix. During this process, the obstetrician makes sure that the antepartum bladder, as well as the lower so-called ovipole, remains intact. The amniotic fluid now emerges from the amniotic sac not in a gush, but drop by drop.
In many Hollywood comedies, it is suggested that the amniotic fluid comes out in gushes. The probability that this will happen when your baby is born is just 2 percent.
As delicate and “thin-skinned” as the amniotic sac is, it is also extraordinarily flexible and stable. Your unborn child is well protected in it from the very beginning and is wonderfully protected against harmful internal and external influences.
Whether it’s germs, viruses or bacteria, or violent impacts that could affect the expectant mother’s baby belly – the amniotic sac is a highly fascinating “protective wall” that only Mother Nature can create.