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In every pregnancy the amniotic sac that surrounds the baby (also called the membranes or the bag of waters) must break before the baby can be born. This usually happens during labor, but in about 10% of pregnancies it occurs more than six hours before labor contractions begin. This is called premature rupture of membranes. When the membranes break before labor begins and before the 37th week of pregnancy, it is called preterm premature rupture of membranes or PPROM. This occurs in about 3% of pregnancies. When the membranes break before the 37th week but after labor has started, it is called preterm labor with subsequent membrane rupture -not PPROM. It's not always easy to distinguish between these two kinds of preterm labor because many women are not aware that they've started labor until their membranes rupture.
PPROM is a serious complication for three reasons:
If you have PPROM, you and your doctor need to decide whether to deliver your baby immediately or to try to continue the pregnancy.
Written by: Rachel Nall, RN, BSN, CCRN
Published on: Mar 15, 2012on: Feb 10, 2016
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