Monitor for complications

  • Ask what to expect or watch out for in the first 24-72 hours after PROM. For example, more fluid leakage, bleeding, cramping, or fever.
  • Learn the signs of infection. Signs of infection include fever, abdominal tenderness, foul-smelling discharge, and elevated white blood cell count. Ask your health care team for more details on each of these signs. Keep in mind that members of the PROM list have reported discovering infections after delivery, even though they were asymptomatic before delivery.
  • Limit exposure to infection. Insist on sterile speculum exams rather than internal vaginal exams. If your health care practitioner believes an internal vaginal exam is necessary to determine the texture of your cervix, insist that the exam be done only with sterile gloves (these come in a sealed package, and not out of a big box of gloves).
  • Some research indicates that daily vaginal disinfection with povidone iodine may prolong the period before delivery. Discuss with your practitioner if this is right for you.
  • Establish your options if infection develops, and how much time you will have to make decisions if you begin to develop an infection.
  • Ask for hospital bedrest if you feel that it is appropriate for you. Hospital bedrest is usually available after 24 weeks. Some hospitals will admit you earlier, especially if your hospital is a long way from your home.
  • Monitor for preterm labor. Talk to your practitioner about home uterine activity monitoring and self-palpation.

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This information was compiled by the members of the PROM list. Nothing on this page should be taken as medical advice. A doctor should be consulted before undertaking any of the medical treatments or methods recommended by the members of the list.

Article by Kay Squires, January 2005, updated July 2011
Special thanks to the members of the PROM list