Premature Rupture of Membranes: Will My Baby Be Okay?

My amniotic membrane ruptured two weeks ago at 23 weeks. What are the chances of my baby surviving or even going to term. Also, what complications should I expect?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

This is certainly a very hard circumstance for you and for your whole family. The stress of just watching and waiting can be incredible. It is hard to predict which mothers and babies will do well and which will not.

Risks involve infection for you and for the baby. Rates of this occurring are from 15 to 25 percent. Bacteria now have an entrance into the uterus, which is why nothing can be introduced into the vagina, precluding pelvic exams and intercourse.

Prematurity is another risk. If rupture occurs prior to 26 weeks, research shows that approximately half will go into labor within one week. (it looks as if you have already beaten those odds).

Lack of oxygen to the baby or hypoxia (asphyxia) can be another risk due to umbilical cord compression or prolapse. This could lead to stillbirth.

Fetal malformations can also occur due to the lack of fluid, which restricts the baby's movements. Due to the compression, there is a slight increase risk (three percent) of some fetal face and limb and lung defects.

In many cases, the leak may seal over and production of amniotic fluid continues and the pregnancy progresses without any more problems. In any event, you continue to produce a cup of fluid every hour for the baby, so don't be afraid that he is in a dry environment.

I hope you are under the care of a knowledgeable, caring provider. Of course, he or she is your best source for information and guidance.

I wish you the very best.

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