At beginning of your pregnancy or during labor your membranes will rupture, and this is known as water breaking. And if your water breaks before labor starts, it is called premature rupture of membranes (PROM).
During your labor pain, if your water has not already broken on its own and if your labor is not progressing well, then your practitioner may try to augment your labor by rupturing the membranes that surround your baby. By inserting a slim, plastic hooked instrument through your vagina and dilated cervix your doctor can break your amniotic sac.
This procedure allows the amniotic fluid to flow out of the cervix. The fluid contains prostaglandins hormones that lead to stronger contractions. And with the buffer of fluid around the baby gone, baby’s head can now press on the cervix and cause it to dilate. And your practitioner may choose to do this because the longer your labor is allowed to go on without making progress, the greater the chance that you will exhausted when it is time to push or that you will end up with a c-section.
This procedure has been used for a long time to augment labor, experts continue to debate its risks and benefits. And this procedure known as amniotomy and having an amniotomy may mean a somewhat shorter labor and less chance that you will need Pitocin.
But the problem is that, it also increases your risk of infection.And an intact amniotic sac offers greater protection against umbilical cord compression during and even between contractions. Umbilical cord compression can cause your baby’s heart rate to slow down and in some cases it may lead to c-section.
During your labor if you need an amniotomy or Pitocin, it will likely cause more painful contractions than you have been having. But this usually means that the contractions.
Are more effective and are also causing your cervix to dilate so your labor can progress. Your doctor will consider that weather amniotomy is a good choice for you based on all of his factors like
How much your cervix is dilated
How low the baby is in your pelvis
Whether you need internal fetal monitoring and
Your risk of infection.
You would probably don’t need an amniotomy until you are very close to your delivering, if your labor is progressing well and your baby is doing fine.