The Real Poop on Labor
What you always wanted to know about childbirth but were too mortified to mention. Plus, learn the 16 early signs of pregnancy
What if my water breaks in public?
First off, only about one in four women experience their water breaking prior to the onset of labor, notes Buxton. And if you suspect that you're in labor, you probably won't be heading out to get your hair cut or browse for antiques.
Even if your water does break unexpectedly, your amniotic fluid is more likely to leak out slowly than to gush down your legs like a raging river. (Often, the baby's head will act as a "cork.") Meanwhile, it's not like people are going to think you peed in your pants. What's actually happening will be obvious to even casual observers, and they'll probably fall over themselves trying to help. Take all the sympathy you can get, because in a few short hours your baby will begin to show you no mercy, and that won't abate for the next 18 years, if ever. You can also greatly ease your anxiety by keeping a change of clothes in the trunk of your car or in your office. One caveat: If your water does break in public, call your health care provider. Since the risk of infection increases once the protective amniotic sac is broken, your provider will want to discuss when you should be admitted to the hospital or birth center.