Artificial Rupture of the Membranes in Labour

4m of CPD
Artificial rupture of the amniotic membranes (ARM) during early labour is one of the most commonly performed procedures in midwifery practice. The membranes are punctured with a crochet-like long-handled hook during a vaginal examination, releasing the amniotic fluid.

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What is this article about?

Artificial rupture of the membranes, also known as breaking the waters or amniotomy, is common practice in many labour units around the world. In some places it is considered routine whilst in others it is used to speed up prolonged labour. However, recent research suggests that this practice offers relatively little benefit to the mother and could potentially cause harm. So how should midwives approach this procedure?


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Meet the educator

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Anne Watkins
Anne is a freelance lecturer and medical writer at Mind Body Ink. She is a former midwife and nurse teacher with over 25 years’ experience working in the fields of healthcare, stress management and medical hypnosis. Her background includes working as a hospital midwife, Critical Care nurse, lecturer in Neonatal Intensive Care, and as a Clinical Nurse Specialist for a company making life support equipment. Anne has also studied many forms of complementary medicine and has extensive experience in the field of clinical hypnosis. She has a special interest in integrating complementary medicine into conventional healthcare settings and is currently an Associate Tutor, lecturing in Health Coaching and Medical Hypnosis at Exeter University in the UK. As a former Midwife, Anne has a natural passion for writing about fertility, pregnancy, birthing and baby care. Her recent publications include The Health Factor, Coach Yourself To Better Health and Positive Thinking For Kids. You can read more about her work at
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What do others think?

224 reviews by Ausmed Learners
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Portrait of Anne Michelle Hughes
Anne Hughes
02 Sep 2020
This article reinforces the importance of informed consent prior to performing any procedure and not just doing it because the Doctor said!
Evelyn Lynch
04 May 2022
Fantastic resource, gained new knowledge not mentioned in my learning at university
Portrait of Helen PARK
Helen PARK
01 Aug 2020
Great article to question practices that have been done for many years and importance of updating evidenced information and ensure there is consent in today's practice of midwifery.
Bina Baniya
11 Apr 2021
Louise Vance
23 Aug 2020
very interesting article
Portrait of Annique Fabien
Annique Fabien
07 Dec 2020
Very good quick read article
Bron French
09 Aug 2020
Quick overview of artificial rupture of membranes. Some suggestions that it is not as effective as ARM with Oxytocin combined.
Anne Rendell
24 Sep 2020
Informative and confirms what I believe is good practice
Portrait of Belinda Lockhart
Belinda Lockhart
05 Jul 2021
Good clear resource.
Eleanor McLintock
25 Feb 2022
4.3 / 5
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