During an appearance on the ‘Lorraine’ show this morning [Monday 29 January], the singer and TV presenter explained that her youngest daughter, True, was born after a “scary time” for her whole family.
The 37-year-old said: “I didn’t know your waters could break and you can still carry the baby.
“They usually think you’re going to go into labour within the hour. From that point they said the baby could come any day now.”
Jamelia, who also has two older children, Tiani and Teja, had to stay in bed after her waters unexpectedly broke, which normally happens after 37 weeks according to the UK stillbirth charity, Tommy’s.
But the charity says that in around 2% of pregnancies, it happens sooner.
“Going through something like that really opens your eyes,” she added.
Why do waters break?
When an unborn baby is in the womb, it is surrounded by a sac of amniotic fluid and when this ruptures, mums-to-be will experience their ‘waters breaking’.
What happens when they break?
You will experience it as a trickle or a gush of water from your vagina. It is likely to continue leaking once it has started. If it isn’t too heavy you can use a sanitary towel (not a tampon) to catch it.
This will also allow you to see what colour it is, which will be helpful information for health professionals, according to Tommy’s charity.
Why do waters break early?
Virginia Beckett, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says [RCOG] told HuffPost UK: “If your waters break before labour at less than 37 weeks of pregnancy, this is known as preterm pre-labour rupture of membranes (PPROM).”
She added: “Around a third of cases can be linked to infection, but in many cases no infection is present.”
What should I do if I think my waters have broken early?
Beckett says: “Leaking amniotic fluid does not smell like urine. If you think the fluid is amniotic fluid, you should contact your local maternity unit.
“If you feel unwell, have a fever, or the fluid is a green colour or contains blood, contact your maternity unit immediately.”
What will happen?
Beckett says: “If the mother does not go into labour and is otherwise well, steroid injections can improve the outcome for the baby and some babies may be carried to term.
“Once the waters have broken, there is a risk of infection getting into the womb, which may mean that it is dangerous for the mother if the pregnancy continues. In such cases, labour may have to be induced.”
Is my baby at risk?
Beckett says: “The earlier your baby is born, the more likely that this is the case.
“If your waters have broken early and you give birth before 23–24 weeks of pregnancy, sadly, it is unlikely that your baby will survive.”
“The possible treatment and outcomes for your baby in your individual situation will be discussed with you.”
If you suspect your waters have broken early it is important that you seek medical advice from your GP or midwife as soon as possible, so they can advise you on what is best for you and your baby.
ITV’s Lorraine is on weekdays from 8.30am to 9.25am.