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From Cynthia

"Every once in a while I have a client who will leak fluid for weeks. Occasionally women are actually experiencing a high hind leak (which may reseal) and more rarely leaking fluid from the chorionic/amniotic field. Typically this fluid disappears and the chorionic/amniotic sacs fuse-but not always; much more often it is just copious, watery mucus.

Many things can factor into a fluid being in the PH range of amniotic fluid and still not be amniotic fluid. An Amnicator, litmus paper or Al-Sense are testing PH without considering these factors. Yet the public perception of amniotic fluid is so infused with fear that any attempt to discuss the possibilities falls on deaf ears.

The clock begins ticking, support systems called into place, the cortisol cascade begins (which inhibits labor) and before too long mother is in hospital or clinic undergoing expensive and invasive procedures (which often create their own problems) and/or being induced (and we all know where that can lead).

We need more robust discussions about vaginal fluids yet this is an area of women's bodily function so historically shamed that I often find women incapable of getting past the opening questions. In this generation of shaving and glittering and bejeweling we cannot avoid the singular fact that women ARE juicy, wet and ripe. All words which illicit such intense reactions (and of such wildly differing origins) it can be impossible to anticipate how to open those discussions.

Add to these issues those of the young midwife; juggling new insight, training and experience with her own issues surrounding bodily function and the fears can multiply substantially.

Remember that our bodies are designed to work and engage every challenge from that perspective. Do not assume the worst, assume the body is adapting to challenge (good) and that our best support comes through listening and mindful questions. Given enough time the body almost always will find its way.

And if you have never experienced a full-out amniotic shower from that bag of waters that was supposed to have broken days before as the baby is being born you have not been at the work very long. It always makes me smile with the joy of having helped a family beat back fear.

Words of wisdom from a regional treasure.

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