Pregnancy mucous plug loss is a process that can happen slowly, or a few stringy globs at a time. If you lose it near the end of your pregnancy, you might have a “bloody show.” This is casually referred to as “bloody show” because the secretions can be tinged with strings of brownish colored blood. At this stage, it could also have tinges of red or pink. If you are in your last month of pregnancy, this does not mean the baby is in danger or a miscarriage is imminent. Nor is it a sign that labor contractions are going to fill the rest of your day – or even begin in the next week. It simply means that your cervix is getting wider, and the mucous plug’s job is done and your body will discard it. (Hopefully in a pantiliner in your underwear.)
If you are not yet 36 weeks pregnant, then call a doctor right away if you have any bloody show of any color red or other signs of losing your mucous plug. If you simply have white vaginal discharge, reminiscent of pre-pregnancy and pre-menstrual period days, it’s perfectly normal. Increased estrogen and vaginal blood flow increases your discharge. Just make sure to mention any changes in color to your doctor. If your discharge looks green or yellow, it could be a sign of a yeast infection, which is very common during pregnancy. Your obstetrician can easily treat you for this.
For many pregnant women, mucous plug secretions are barely noticeable. For others, it’s just one big mucous glob that happens during labor. Yet, others groan and grumble as they wobble down store aisles to stock up on panty liners, even though they thought they were free and clear for a good nine months. Most pregnant women aren’t lucky enough to carry their baby up until the ninth month without having to resort to wearing pantiliners.
The job of the mucous plug is to “plug up” your cervix to protect your baby from bacteria. The gooey stuff that it is made up of, forms from the uterus opening – which is the cervical canal. There are all kinds of wonderful protective systems going on in your pregnant body that are perfectly orchestrated to prepare for mum’s labor and baby’s delivery. Your pregnancy mucous plug stays plugged in while your baby is in its most sensitive development stages. Once your cervix starts dilating, baby is getting closer to coming out, and you start losing it. Even when the mucous plug finally gets lost, the baby is still protected in a strong baby-proof sac.
A lost mucous plug in the last month of pregnancy does not mean labor is ready to knock on your door, (or stomach), in the next 24 hours. But you can smile knowing that it means you’re dilating (your cervix is expanding), and baby is getting ready to meet the world. So next time you say “ewww” to the gobbly gook in your panties, shout a little “make way for baby” instead. Then instead of shopping for pantiliners, shop for some baby clothes instead. Your baby is getting ready to meet you.