How to make your water break

You’ve been pregnant for what seems like years, but in fact, it’s only been nine months. You are anxious to get things moving and you heard that you may be able to do your part. Do you know how to break your water? Sometimes a physician or even a midwife might try to encourage the mom-to-be to do this to start the labor process. It should be done by a healthcare professional, but here are some tips on how to get your water to break a little faster.

How to Break Your Water

How to make your water break

1. Ask Your Doctor to Strip Your Membranes

While this sounds both nasty and invasive, it is really only asking him or her to move the amniotic fluid sac from the sides of the uterus. What will happen next is the uterus will become irritated and contractions will begin to start anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days after this happens. Sometimes your water may even break by the time you get home.

2. Walk It Off

Besides being a great form of exercise, walking is another way that you can try to help things along when you are trying to learn how to get your water to break. When you walk, and just about 30 minutes at a time is all you need, the baby will begin to move down into the birth canal. This may cause your water to break and get the contractions started. Make sure you don’t overdo it even though you are anxious to give birth.

3. Have Sexual Moves

If you are still wondering how to break your water you could try having sex. If you took number one to heart and had the doctor strip your membranes having sex just might do the trick. Having sex won’t hurt your baby but you shouldn’t have sex after your water breaks. You could be putting your baby in danger if any bacteria were to enter into the uterus.

4. Nipple Stimulation

Stimulating your nipples has been a pretty effective way of getting labor started. When you roll the nipples and the areola using your forefinger and your thumb it mimics the motion that a baby makes when they are nursing. Many people think that this method is as effective in getting labor started as using Pitocin.

5. Foods That May Help Break Your Water

These methods have actually no medical basis and are more regarded as old wives’ tales but they are listed here in case they may work for you.

  • Spicy foods: Eating spicy foods can upset your bowels enough to get the uterus to begin contractions. But the capsaicin can cancel out the effects of endorphins making labor extra painful.
  • Pineapples: Many people think a woman shouldn’t eat pineapples throughout her pregnancy until the end when she wants to get into labor. It is said that it ripens the cervix and helps the body to make more prostaglandins which helps to induce labor.
  • Evening primrose oil: It is believed that the components of this herb evolve into prostaglandins which can cause your water to break and start the process of labor. At 36 weeks of pregnancy, take two 500 mg capsules; at week 38, increase to 3 or 4 capsules each day.

6. Amniotomy

If you have tried everything and you are still wondering how to break your water, you may opt for an amniotomy. An amniotomy is where the doctor or midwife actually breaks your water for you. If your water hasn’t broken and you have started labor but it has slowed down, having your water broken may help to get it back up to speed. They use a special tool that will pierce the membrane and let the fluids flow out of the protective membrane. The baby is checked directly afterward to make sure that it has not been affected by the stress.

Things to Keep in Mind

Ok, so you are near the end of your pregnancy and you are tired of feeling fat and tired! You are constantly wondering how to break your water and you are feeling more and more anxious and desperate. But however anxious you are, there’re things that you must know about water breaking to make sure you and your baby’s health.

  • Once the amniotic sac is broken only 10% of pregnant women begin labor.
  • There are risks involved once the water has broken. When the water has broken and labor has not begun it is called the premature rupture of membranes, or PROM. Special attention must be paid to prevent any infections or complications.
  • Once the water has broken it may cause a more painful and difficult labor. The amniotic sac helps to support baby’s head and without it the head may be forced into the pelvis area.
  • Another side effect of your water breaking too early is cord prolapse which can be dangerous.

If your water hasn’t broken and you are in labor, don’t worry, it will most likely happen on its own right before you are ready to deliver. Look at it as a form of protection for your baby, so don’t try to rush it. Even if your doctor wants to break your water if you choose to let it happen naturally, you don’t have to have it done.

As your pregnancy progresses, it may seem like you’ve been pregnant for years, rather than months. You want things to start happening, and perhaps you’ve heard that you can do your part to move the process forward.

Do you know how you can break your own water? Sometimes midwives or physicians may encourage you to do this, in order that the process of labor can be started. To be clear, water can only be broken by a medical professional, but there are ways for you to encourage your water to break a bit more quickly.

How to make your water break

How to Break your own Water

  1. Take Moderate Walks

How to make your water break

Walking is an excellent way to exercise, and it’s one way you can help things along when you want your water to break. A half hour a day is all you will need for this process. As you walk, your baby will move further down the birth canal. This can cause the water to break and start contractions. Don’t overo exercise, even though you are understandably anxious about giving birth.

  1. Ask your Physician to Strip your Membranes

This step sounds invasive and nasty. All it really means is asking your doctor to move the sac of amniotic fluid from the sides of the uterine wall. After this takes place, your uterus will begin to get irritated, and usually contractions follow, from a few hours to several days after this step. Your water may even break when you get home from the doctor appointment where this is done.

  1. Stimulation of the Nipples

If you stimulate the nipples, this may be a way to get labor started. If you roll the areola and nipples using your thumb and forefinger, it will mimic the motion your baby will make when he nurses. This method seems overly simple, but many people believe it’s effective.

  1. Perform Sexual Moves

Having sex is another way that you can help your water to break. If you already had your physician strip the membranes, moving the amniotic fluid sac, having sex can kick-start labor. Having sex will not harm your baby, but if your water does break, cease all sexual activity, since bacteria can enter your body that way.

  1. Amniotomy

In an amniotomy, your physician or midwife will physically break the water for you. If you are in labor but your water hasn’t yet broken, then breaking it will speed up the birthing process.

A special tool is used, that pierces the membrane to let fluids out of that protected membrane. Your physician will check your baby right after this step, to make sure he has not been affected by stress.

  1. Foods That May Help Break Your Water

How to make your water break

These foods are not medically proven to break your water or begin labor, but many people regard these old wives’ tales as truth. Once in a while they work.

  • Evening Primrose Oil

Users of herbs and oils believe that the basic components of primrose oil evolve into natural prostaglandins. These can cause the water to break and begin the labor process. Take two 500 capsules per day at 36 & 37 weeks and when you reach week 38, increase your dosage to 3-4 capsules per day.

It’s a common belief that women should not eat pineapples during pregnancy. This changes when you want to go into labor. Pineapples are said to ripen the cervix and help the body to produce more prostaglandins, to help induce labor.

This choice is a double-edged sword. On one side, eating spicy foods may upset your bowels, and this can cause your contractions to start. On the other hand, the capsaicin in pineapples may counteract the endorphins which normally help labor, making it more painful.

Keep these Facts in Mind

When you’re nearing your due date, you’ve just about had enough tiredness and feeling fat. You may have been wondering about ways to break your water, as you feel more anxious to have the pregnancy over and to deliver a new child. Regardless of how anxious you may be feeling, there are certain things you need to know and heed about breaking your water, to ensure that your baby and you will be safe and healthy.

  • Only about 10% of women begin their labor after the breaking of the amniotic sac.
  • Once your water has broken, your labor may become more difficult and painful. The amniotic sac supports your baby’s head, and without that cushion, his head may be too roughly forced into the pelvic area.
  • Once your water has broken, risks to the labor come into play. If your water breaks and your labor does not begin, this is known as PROM, or the premature rupture of membranes. Your physician and staff will have to take special care so that you do not experience complications or infection.
  • Breaking your water too early can also result in a prolapse of the umbilical cord, and this can be quite dangerous for your baby.

If you are in labor, and your water has not yet broken, it’s not generally a reason for worry. It will usually happen on its own, immediately before you deliver your baby. Think of it as a protective bubble for your baby, so you may not want t0 rush it. Even if your delivering physician wants to break the water manually, you can tell him that you want to allow your water to break naturally.

How to make your water break

Women can get their water to break with the help of a doctor, but it is not safe for them to attempt to break their water at home.

However, there are many natural methods that women can use to encourage labor to begin once the pregnancy has reached full term.

In this article, we cover the risks of breaking your water and provide alternative ways to induce labor safely.

How to make your water break

Share on Pinterest It can be dangerous for a woman to try and break her water at home before natural labor begins.

There are no proven safe ways for a woman to break her water at home. It can be dangerous if the water breaks before natural labor begins or before the baby is fully developed.

During the natural process of labor, the water breaks when the baby’s head puts pressure on the amniotic sac, causing it to rupture. Women will notice either a gush or a trickle of water coming out of the vagina.

Many doctors say that women must give birth within 12–24 hours of the water breaking. After this time, a doctor may recommend a cesarean delivery to ensure the safety of the woman and the baby.

This is because it is easier for bacteria to get into the uterus after the water breaks. This increases the risk of infection, which is a major complication that puts both the woman and the baby at risk. It may also make the birth more difficult.

It is particularly dangerous to use artificial instruments to rupture the amniotic sac, as this can introduce bacteria into the uterus and cause infections. It could also injure the baby.

Labor can begin without the water breaking. As a result, women can speed up or induce labor naturally without breaking their water.

In some cases, a doctor can help a woman’s water to break using a procedure called an amniotomy. They will insert a device into the vagina and very carefully use it to break the amniotic sac.

Before carrying out an amniotomy, the doctor will ensure that the baby is head-down and that the procedure is safe for both the woman and the baby.

Most women will not need an amniotomy to induce labor. However, it is usually safe and provides an alternative or additional option to using medication.

An amniotomy may not be safe for every woman. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend against a woman having an amniotomy when her labor is progressing normally, and the baby appears to be in good health.

Apart from an amniotomy, doctors can induce labor by using a catheter to dilate the cervix or by prescribing medication, such as Pitocin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) say that attempts to induce labor may be harmful if there are no medical reasons to justify them. This includes efforts to speed up the water breaking.

Allowing a woman to go into labor naturally can lower the risk of complications and minimize the likelihood of unwanted labor interventions, such as cesarean deliveries.

Women whose doctors recommend breaking their water should ask questions about the risks and benefits and get clear details about how this might affect their options during labor.

Any intervention to induce labor will present benefits and risks. For some people , the risks of remaining pregnant may be greater than the risks of inducing labor. For others, it is safer to wait.

It is essential to discuss each pregnancy with a doctor to determine the best course of action.

The end of pregnancy can be exhausting. People believe that there are many ways to induce labor, from eating spicy food to going for long walks.

There is little evidence to support most of these ideas. However, the following methods may safely help to induce labor, if the woman’s body is ready.

Women should only consider using these techniques to encourage the natural onset of labor once the pregnancy has reached full term. They should also confirm first with a doctor that their pregnancy is low risk.

Have sex

Having sex, particularly vaginal penetration, may help to start labor. It is not clear whether this is due to hormonal changes, physical stimulation, or something else.

A 2014 study found a link between having sex during the last week of pregnancy and going into labor. Women whose water has already broken should not have sex as this can increase the risk of infection.

Try nipple stimulation

Nipple stimulation may be a natural way to get the body to release oxytocin, a hormone that plays a key role in both labor and breast-feeding.

Learn more about how nipple stimulation can induce labor.

Eat some dates

A small 2011 study asked women to eat six dates per day during the last 4 weeks of their pregnancy.

The researchers found that 96 percent of the women who ate dates had spontaneous labor, compared to 79 percent of those who did not. The women who ate dates also had greater dilation of their cervix during labor.

1. Food

Did you know that your food choices can help you break water? While most of these methods don’t have medical backing, they are widely used and have helped many women. Here are some of the foods to try out.

Foods

Description

Spicy foods

Spicy foods are known to help induce labor, but as mentioned this claim has no medical backing. In theory, spices upset your stomach and the vibrations they bring about may trigger contractions.

Pineapples

Pineapples are said to ripen the cervix by speeding up production of the prostaglandins which is the key substance that induces labor.

Evening primrose oil

This is also not medically recommended, but some studies have shown that it could work. You are advised to take two capsules of 500mg daily from week 36 of your pregnancy. Increase the dose to 3-4 capsules daily by the 38th week.

Labor inducing cookies

You can buy these cookies online or at specialty bakeries and stores. Alternatively, you could bake the cookies yourself and these tend to include ingredients such as cayenne pepper which is said to induce labor.

2. Walking

Walking is great exercise and it can help your unborn child drop to the birth canal, bringing about contractions or breaking your water. However, do not push your body to avoid injury.

3. Nipple Stimulation

Stimulating your nipples could trigger labor. You can do this by simply rolling your nipples in between your forefinger and thumb. The idea is to simulate a sucking motion.

4. Sex

Sex is a great way of inducing water breakage, especially if your membranes have been stripped. You can have sex until your water breaks, but not after as this could introduce harmful bacteria into your uterus.

Medical Approach to Break Your Water: Strip Your Membranes

You can have your water broken by a mid-wife or a doctor. However, having your water broken near the onset of labor does not make a difference to your labor and is not recommended. The active labor stage eventually slows down and breaking your water could help get the labor process going faster. If you wish to have your water broken medically, this is the procedure that you will undergo.

Your doctor will have you lie down in bed with your legs elevated or just apart. He or she will then proceed to make a small prick in the belly membranes using an amnihook (a long thin probe). The doctor also could use a special glove known as an amnicot and this glove comes with a pricked end. Your doctor will simply prick a part of the membrane, helping your water burst. A bucket is prepared beforehand and placed underneath the bed. While this procedure is uncomfortable, it is not painful and you will be glad that the entire process is sped up. Your doctor will check on your unborn child’s heartbeat using an ear trumpet or Sonicaid to ensure that the water breakage has not distressed the child.

Contractions will become stronger after water breakage and you will be prepared to start breathing and relaxation exercises. You can also get some pain medication if the pain is unbearable.

Want to see a real-life experience? Check this out:

1. What If All the Methods Don’t Work?

If all the water breaking methods mentioned above did not work for you, here is a final way to speed up you labor: hormone drip.

Hormone drips are sometimes necessary and this is especially true when walking does not help with speeding up labor. This drip contains a drug known as Syntocinon which is an artificial form of the labor hormone known as oxytocin. Your baby’s heartbeat will be monitored continuously using electronic sensors on your belly or attaching a clip on the head. Constant monitoring is conducted because the drip may overstimulate your uterus thus distressing the baby. You will most likely need pain medication to help you cope with these very strong and frequent contractions that have been induced. You might want to request for an epidural injection before taking the hormone drip.

2. How Can I Know My Water Has Broken?

It’s not easy to differentiate urine from amniotic fluid. If you are unsure, you might want to get in touch with your doctor or any member of your medical team to get a physical exam and some lab tests. It’s important to keep note of the color and odor of the water you suspect is amniotic fluid and maybe even store a little for evaluation.

3. What Should I Avoid After Breaking the Water?

Your uterus no longer has a protective barrier and this means that you can easily introduce bacteria into the vagina. Sex is prohibited after breaking your water and you are advised to head straight to your hospital.

4. When Will Labor Begin After My Water Breaks?

Labor follows soon after water breakage if it hasn’t already started. In some cases, you may experience a premature rupture within the membranes and in such cases, your doctor or midwife could stimulate contractions by inducing labor. The longer the duration between water breakage and labor, the higher the risk of an infection may develop, and this infection may affect you or your baby.

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Rachel Gurevich, RN, is a registered nurse, fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association.

How to make your water break

When you’re pregnant, one of your biggest concerns might be that your water will break in a less than desirable situation, sending amniotic fluid gushing everywhere. You may imagine being in the middle of giving a presentation at work or the grocery store aisle when it happens.

Most often, your water won’t break until you’re well into labor (it happens prior to the onset of labor only about 8% to 10% of the time).   Still, the fear is real that you won’t know the difference between amniotic fluid and urine. These simple steps can help you determine if your bag of water has broken.

Take a Deep Breath

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Hero Images/Getty Images

Panic won’t help if you think your water has broken. Take a minute to take a deep breath or two and collect your thoughts. Find the closest bathroom and make your way there. If you’re at home you’re probably going to feel more comfortable. However, if you’re out, simply excuse yourself and go to the bathroom.

Normally, you won’t experience such a huge gush that everyone near you would need to worry about getting their shoes wet (like you might see on TV). It’s usually just a matter of your underwear being wet.

Remember COAT

How to make your water break

If you do think your water broke, you need to note a few important things (even if it turns out that your water did not break after all).   Write these down to share with your healthcare provider. Use the mnemonic “COAT” to help you recall the four key pieces of information. These details can help your practitioner determine the best course of action for you.

  • Color: What color is the fluid?
  • Odor: Is there a smell?
  • Amount: Is it a gush or a trickle?
  • Time: What time did it happen?

Make a Quick Change

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Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Get a dry pair of underwear, if possible. Or you can line your underwear with sanitary napkins or a panty liner. Do not use a tampon or put anything else in your vagina, as this can increase the risk of infection if you water was broken.

If you’re away from home, you’ll probably want to get home now if you can. There you can take a closer look to see if your water has really broken or if you are leaking urine (it happens, and is very normal).

Lie Down and Rest

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Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

The easiest way to determine if it is amniotic fluid or urine is to put on clean, dry underwear and a pad or panty liner. Then lie down for about a half hour. If the fluid is amniotic fluid, it will pool or gather in the vagina while you lie down.

During this half an hour, spend time gathering your thoughts. Are you packed and ready for the trip to the hospital? Do you need to call anyone, such as your partner or doula? Try to do a fetal kick count or make note of your baby’s movements as well. You can also use the time to take a quick nap.

At the end of the time, get up and check to see if the pad is wet or dry. A dry pad means that your water is most likely not broken. What you experienced could have been an increase in mucus discharge or a small leak from your bladder.

Check Color and Odor

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If the pad is wet, you still might not have broken your bag of water. Look at the fluid. What color is it? Urine can be many colors, but it is usually colored. Amniotic fluid is usually clear to pale straw colored (lighter than urine).  

Smell the fluid. Does it smell like urine? If it smells like urine, it probably is urine. Bladder control issues are not uncommon in pregnancy. If it smells like bleach, it is more likely to be amniotic fluid.

Call Your Doctor or Midwife

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If you are still unsure about whether it was your amniotic sac breaking or urine leaking, call your doctor or midwife. They may advise you of other simple ways to test if it is amniotic fluid. They may also ask that you come into the office or the hospital so they can perform a test on the fluid.

If you are asked to go in to see the doctor, bring everything you’d need to give birth with you in case they tell you to stay.

Hospital Testing

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Blend Images/Getty Images

Your doctor or midwife will use one of two common tests to see if the fluid leaking is your water or not. One simply involves a vaginal exam. During the vaginal exam, the doctor, midwife or nurse will introduce a small piece of paper, called litmus paper. This paper reacts by changing color when it is exposed to amniotic fluid. If the paper doesn’t react, your water has not broken.

The other test is to take a small sample of fluid and look at it under a microscope. When amniotic fluid is dry the pattern it makes on the microscope slide looks like a fern plant and is therefore called ferning. Thus, if they see ferning, your water has broken.

If your water has not broken you will be sent home to await the start of labor. If your water has broken, what happens next depends upon the protocols of your doctor or midwife. You may be checked into the hospital or birthing center right away, or you may be told to go home until your contractions begin.

How to make your water break

Most women who have been pregnant before can relate to that feeling of just wanting to get it over with. In the last days of your pregnancy, you will likely be begging that little bundle of joy to end your misery and make her debut. If begging doesn’t work, below you’ll find some information on how to break your water at home when pregnant.

How to Break Your Water at Home When Pregnant

Strip Your Membranes
Have your membranes stripped by your medical professional. Ask your doctor to strip your membranes. This is a process that involves your doctor using his fingers to separate the sac of amniotic fluid from the uterus walls. While it sounds pretty graphic, it’s not that bad and not as invasive as having your waters broken. The uterus becomes irritated and begins contracting a few hours or days after the procedure, often breaking your water once you are at home. When combined with steps 2, 3, and 4, this step becomes even more effective at breaking your water.

Walk it Out
Walk, walk, walk and then walk some more. One way in which you can help your water to break in the last days of pregnancy is to walk. Walking is not only great exercise, but it helps your little one drop into the birth canal in order to get ready for delivery. This in itself can help your water break and bring the onset of contractions. Remember not to overdo it–you don’t want to risk injury to yourself or your child. Around 30 minutes at a time is a good amount of walking.

Have Sex
Have sex, sex and some more sex. Having sex is sometimes known to help break your water in those last days. This is especially true if you have your membranes stripped at your physician’s office and then go home and have sexual relations with your partner. If you’re worried that sexual relations might injure your baby, it shouldn’t. The only time sexual relations might be dangerous to you or your baby is if you have sex after your water breaks. At that point, sexual relations could place harmful bacteria into the uterus and should not be attempted.

Nipple Stimulation
Try nipple stimulation. Nipple stimulation has long been known to sometimes induce labor and trigger the breaking of the waters. Simply roll the nipple as well as the areola back and forth between your thumb and forefinger–or have your partner do it for you while you relax. The key is to simulate the motion that would happen if a baby were suckling. This is thought to be a very powerful way to induce labor–similar to Pitocin.

How to Break Your Water at Home When Pregnant

The breaking of water in the last trimester of the pregnancy is an indication of the woman going into labor shortly. Usually when the water breaks well before the onset of labor, this occurrence is termed as the premature rupture of membranes. Most women, towards the end of the pregnancy are keen on hurrying their baby out and finally meeting their little bundle of joy. In such cases, the midwives or the doctor may recommend breaking of the water to speed up labor.

Techniques to get your water break

Mentioned below is some useful information on how to get your water to break at home naturally.

  • One of the techniques to get your water to break is to strip your membranes. This is usually done by a trained midwife or a medical professional who will use their fingers to try and separate the amniotic fluid sac and push it away from the walls of the uterus. By doing so, the uterus tends to get irritated and in most cases contractions will begin in a few hours which in turn will result into the breaking of the water.
  • Another technique to get your water to break and induce labor is to get plenty of exercise and in fact walk as much as you can. Walking not only helps in getting the water to break in the last days of the pregnancy, but also enables the baby to get ready for delivery by dropping into the birth canal. However while following this technique to get your water to break, you should also make sure that you don’t overdo the exercising and keep it at a maximum of a 30 minute walk per day.
  • Another technique to get your water to break naturally is to have plenty of sex towards the end of the pregnancy. Sexual intercourse with your partner will not harm the child.
  • Nipple stimulation is yet another way to get the water to break which can be done yourself or by your partner. This is known to be effective as it will help you relax and gradually induce labor causing the water to break.

When I was pregnant with my first child, the last weeks of my pregnancy were miserable and I hated life. My hips hurt, my back was screwed, and I was just done with all of it. The day before I went into labor during a cold weekend in March, my husband and I drove from our home in Brooklyn to a huge mall upstate where we walked for hours and hours. The next morning I started having contractions, and just a few hours later, my son was born. But was it the walking? Will walking make your water break, or was it just my son’s time to be born?

Whether you’re trying to go into labor or you’re trying to avoid it, you’ll want to know what does and doesn’t bring on labor, and what may cause your water to break. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), exercises like walking are not only healthy during pregnancy, they’re absolutely essential. They do not pose a risk to the mother or the child, provided your obstetrician says they’re OK. However, researchers are dubious as to whether or not exercise, specifically walking, brings on childbirth or contributes to your water breaking. They did note that if your waters have ruptured prematurely, walking is usually a no-go unless you’re instructed otherwise.

There is only one non-pharmacologic “natural” method that has been shown to have some efficacy in inducing labor, and that is nipple stimulation. I don’t mean a little pull, I’m talking about concentrated effort for hours over the course of days, according to Healthline. The theory is that it stimulates enough oxytocin production that it throws the body into labor. It’s a lot of work. You’d have to massage your breast, terminating at your nipple, for an hour at a time, three times per day, to see any progress. That’s a lot of boob massage.

As far as walking, it’s understandable that many of us would believe that walking would induce labor, but will walking make your water break? Probably not, noted ACOG. If anything, they found that exercise and walking makes you endure your pregnancy better by strengthening your muscles, improving your cardiac output, and maintaining proper oxygenation. While they did write that ruptured membranes are an absolute contraindication for any exercise regimen, they’re writing in terms of how to avoid preterm labor, not how to bring on labor when you’re over 40 weeks and just so tired of being pregnant that you’re desperate to get the baby out.

Labor doula Samantha Caruso of New Jersey agrees. She tells Romper, “Walking is one of the best things you can do to move labor along, and it might help your water break if you’re already in labor,” but that it’s unlikely to do anything if you’re not in labor. However, she does note that if you’re on bedrest, there’s a reason for that, so avoid activities you’ve been told to steer clear of.

That being noted, it’s something many of us try to do as labor nears. There really is something to be said for all of these old wives’ tales that supposedly help bring on labor. Walking is an easy, healthy thing to do, so if your doctor says it’s OK, there’s no harm in trying it out. Sure, the scientists who researched these methods for the journal Birth found that they’re largely unreliable folk methods, and that walking really wasn’t any better than eating spicy foods or having sex to induce labor, but they did write that it’s still unbelievably popular.

The thing about walking to break your water, or walking just to improve your health, is that it’s something you can do that allows you to feel like you have a measure of control in a situation that is really so completely out of your hands. That control is comforting. It’s good for us to feel like we’re actively doing something instead of allowing it to passively happen to us, and that is empowering. If it just so happens to bring on your labor as well, then it’s a win all around.