Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM)

During pregnancy, the baby is cushioned within an amniotic sac, which is filled with fluid. At some point in the pregnancy, the membranes will rupture, releasing the water. Usually, this is a sign of labor.

When the membranes rupture before the 37th week of pregnancy, it is called preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM). This complication can increase the risk for premature delivery, bleeding from behind the placenta (called abruption), infection and restricted blood flow through the umbilical cord.

When PPROM is confirmed, you’ll be admitted to the hospital, where you can stay until your baby is mature enough to be born.

Depending on your situation, care and testing may include:
• Carefully monitoring your temperature and noting any flu-like signs of impending infection
• Occasional exams to observe the cervix and look for evidence of dilation
• Regular ultrasound exams, non-stress testing and biophysical profiles to assess the baby’s condition
• Amniocentesis to watch for infections
• Antibiotics or steroids to help the baby’s lungs mature if early delivery is anticipated

Delivery is usually scheduled when it’s determined the baby’s lungs are mature – typically after 34 weeks. Babies born before 37 weeks are automatically admitted to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for care and observation.