In this article, we’ve decided to tell you everything there is to know about losing the mucus plug. For those moms-to-be who are still unaware of what this might be, we’ve got your back! Losing the mucus plug doesn’t look as bad as it might sound, we promise. In fact, it may be a sign that the labor has started and that you need to pack the bags and head to the hospital!
Essentially, as you start dilating, your cervix will become wider, and the mucus plug will be discharged into the vagina. It will look exactly the same as the mucus coming out of the nose when you have a cold. Still, every pregnancy is different, and to some ladies, losing a mucus plug won’t necessarily mean that they are going into labor. For instance, some moms will lose their mucus plug right when the labor is clearly imminent. On the other hand, some might still have to wait for a couple of weeks.
However, if the loss of the mucus plug is followed by a bloody show, it’s go-time!
Don’t worry — we know that future moms have a lot to worry about, so we’re here to make things as easy as possible. That’s why today, we’ll go over everything a future mom should know about losing her mucus plug.
Mucus Plug Breakdown
Let’s put it this way: try thinking of the mucus plug as a barrier sealing the cervix. In fact, think of it as the door leading to the uterus. Its main role is to, along with the amniotic sac, protect the baby from the outside world.
Once your body senses that you’re ready to meet your baby, the mucus will fall out. Simple as that!
Mucus Plug Discharge — What Does That Even Mean?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, once your cervix starts dilating, it will soften and open up, leading to the mucus plug discharge. Also, the mucus plug might come out in one piece or in many smaller ones. So you should keep an eye on that, too.
The Color and Consistency
When it comes to the consistency, the mucus plug will resemble gelatine, and it will be sticky. As far as the color goes, just imagine regular nose mucus — it’s almost the same!
Should You Be Thinking About Pulling It Out?
This is a big NO! There is no such scenario in which pulling out the mucus plug would be a good idea. Essentially, this is something that is protecting your baby from all sorts of hazards and infections. Do you really want to risk it?
Even if it might seem like a good idea to rush the delivery, that’s not how things go. So, please, make sure you let nature do its thing and arm yourself with patience.
After You Lose It, How Much Time Do You Have Until Labor?
As we’ve already mentioned, this is something that will vary from mom to mom. Some of them might lose the mucus plug weeks before labor, while others might lose it minutes before going into labor.
What If Your Mucous Plug Gets Discharged Early?
In case you lose the mucus plug way before the due date, don’t panic! There is no room for worrying because your baby will stay safe until labor even without the plug.
In fact, your body will continue producing cervical mucus in order to prevent infections. Therefore, your baby will be safe and sound. We’d also like to note that it’s completely safe for you to have sex, take baths and continue acting as you normally would.
Is Losing Your Mucus Plug Inevitable?
This one is correct. The mucus plug will always get discharged before labor. But, what might happen is that some ladies might miss this event. In any case, even if you miss it, this will not affect anything about the actual delivery date.
Will You Lose the Mucus Plug Before or After the Water Breaks?
Typically, losing the mucus plug will take place before your water breaks. However, you could experience some amniotic fluid leakage through a possible tear, which still doesn’t mean that you’ve lost the mucus plug.
The plug will keep the bacteria from coming in, but it may allow the fluid to leak out. As we’ve mentioned, your mucus plug might even come out in smaller pieces, which is why you might not even notice losing it. However, if your water breaks or you start leaking fluid, it’s time to call your doc.
Moving On to the Bloody Show
It’s high time we explained what a bloody show actually is. This is a term we use in order to refer to a mucusy discharge that has a pinkish or brownish color. In addition to that, it will usually show bloody stains, too.
This is all normal and natural. In fact, it’s a reaction of your blood vessels to the dilation of the cervix. You should take this as a very normal, pre-delivery sign that the labor is kicking in.
We’d like to note that, in case you notice bright red blood or increased bleeding, especially before entering the 37th week of your pregnancy, you should call your midwife or doctor just to rule out possible complications.
How Long After the Bloody Show Will You Wait For the Labor?
In general, after you’ve experienced the bloody show, no more than a day or two will pass until labor. However, it may happen that you feel the first contraction even after a couple of hours. So, be prepared and calm…but don’t run through the door just yet.
Is Passing the Bloody Show Exactly the Same as Losing the Mucus Plug?
Not really. In fact, they are very different from each other. Even though mucus is something they both have in common, bloody show is a sign that it’s almost go-time. Meanwhile, losing the mucus plug doesn’t necessarily mean the delivery is around the corner.
What You Can Do to Prepare
In case you’ve faced the bloody show, and the contractions have kicked in, you should pack your bag and call your doctor. The reason for that is that you’re probably only a couple of days or hours away from labor.
On the other hand, if you’ve lost your mucus plug, hang in there. The baby is not ready to leave your comfy womb just yet. Stay patient and sit tight.
If you have some doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to voice your concerns by calling your doc. In fact, you can pay them a visit and have a quick exam in order to know exactly how open you are and when you should expect to be in active labor.
Alright, ladies, that’s it! This is all there is to know about losing the mucus plug and experiencing the bloody show phenomenon. We sure hope you found this article useful and resourceful. Just remember — there’s no room for fear or panic. Stay calm and keep getting ready to meet that wonderful baby of yours!