A British mom claims she gave birth to her son roughly 10 weeks after her water first broke.
When she was 26 weeks pregnant, Lauren Middleton, 24, of West Yorks, told South West News Service (SWNS) that she felt a “gush of water” and went to the hospital — but was shocked when doctors told her that her water had broken.
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Lauren Middleton, 24, holding baby Archie after his birth.
“I was really scared when I heard because it was so early in the pregnancy and my baby was so tiny,” she said. “I knew straight away he was in danger of serious harm.”
Most of the time, a pregnant woman’s water breaks at term, or 37 weeks, and labor begins shortly after. But it is possible for a woman’s water to break early and not be followed by labor — a condition known as preterm prelabor rupture of membranes, or preterm PROM, per the Mayo Clinic.
Preterm PROM can be caused by inflammation of the fetal membranes, vaginal bleeding during the second and third trimesters, smoking during pregnancy, a short cervical length, and being underweight, among other causes. It’s not clear what led to Middleton’s case of preterm PROM.
Baby Archie in neo-natal intensive care.
Doctors typically attempt to delay labor if a woman experiences preterm PROM before 34 weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, “the longer it takes for labor to start after your water breaks, the greater the risk of you or your baby developing an infection,” it adds.
Middleton was sent home after three days in the hospital and monitored at least twice a week for several weeks after her water broke, she said.
“It was an incredibly stressful situation because I was worried about the baby’s health the whole time,” she recalled to SWNS.
At 35 weeks, Middleton began experiencing contractions and was rushed to St. James’s University Hospital in Leeds, she said. Roughly 21 hours later — following a “traumatic and very painful” labor, she said — the 24-year-old welcomed her son, Archie.
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But roughly an hour later, Middleton claims Archie began to have difficulty breathing and was quickly taken to the neonatal intensive care unit. He was reportedly diagnosed with pneumonia and sepsis. Thankfully, a round of antibiotics cleared Archie of infection, and, on Oct. 25, he was given the clear to go home.
“One minute we were having cuddles and everything was fine and the next minute he was gone [to the NICU],” the new mom told SWNS of the scary moment. “If it wasn’t for their amazing work who knows what would have happened to Archie.”