Losing your pregnancy mucous plug is a process that can happen slowly, or all at once in a few stringy globs. If you lose it near the end of your pregnancy, you might have what’s called a “bloody show.” This is 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 that a miscarriage is imminent. The mucous plug’s job is to block the cervix and help keep the baby in the womb. When it’s time for labor, your body will expel the mucous plug. (It’s usually a sign that labor is getting closer, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll have your baby within the next week).
If you are pregnant and notice any changes in your vaginal discharge, such as an increase in volume or a change in color, it’s important to mention it to your doctor. They will be able to determine if there is anything to worry about or if it is just a normal part of pregnancy. If you notice that your discharge is red or has any other color besides white, call a doctor right away as this could be a sign of losing your mucous plug.
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 pantyliner. However, there are a few things that pregnant women can do to help reduce the amount of mucous secretions, such as drinking plenty of fluids and eating a healthy diet.
The mucous plug is tasked with protecting your baby from bacteria by “plugging up” the cervix. The gooey substance it is made of forms from the uterus opening, otherwise known as the cervical canal. There are a lot of different systems at work in a pregnant woman’s body that work together to prepare for labor and delivery, and the mucous plug is one of them. It stays plugged in while your baby is in its most vulnerable stage of development. As your cervix starts dilating, that means baby is getting closer to making their grand entrance. Some women may also start losing their mucous plug around this time too. Even when the mucous plug is lost, there’s no need to worry. The baby is still protected in a strong 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 pantyliners, shop for some baby clothes instead. Your baby is getting ready to meet you.