Losing Your Mucus Plug During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is both an exciting and sometimes scary time. Anticipation heightens as ‘the big day’ approaches. Understanding what to expect when losing your mucus plug, is key in reduce stress of the ‘unknown.’
What is a mucus plug?
During pregnancy there’s a thick plug of mucus that fills the cervical opening. It’s formed in the cervical canal and simply called the mucus plug.
What does a mucus plug do?
The mucus plug mainly serves to keep bacteria out. It’s purpose is to protect the growing fetus from external factors. It keeps things from entering into the uterus that might harm the growing fetus.
When the cervix thins and opens during labor, the plug or part of it may fall out. Each woman’s body is different and her mucus plug will be too.
What does a mucus plug look like?
If often looks like a jellyish chunk of discharge with various colors. Normally it’s slightly pink with a spot or two of blood. Others describe it just as a thick glob of sticky discharge. Some women report having some brownish discharge shortly after and that’s perfectly normal. If it’s accompanied with more than a spot or two of blood though, make sure you contact your doctor just to be safe.
When can I expect to lose my mucus plug it?
In some cases only a partial part of the mucus plug is lost. Although a large majority of women will lose it all at some point. This can happen anywhere from a few days prior to labor or a few weeks. It’s not uncommon for a woman keep her mucus plug intact until she’s actually at the hospital and almost ready to deliver.
On the flip side, don’t assume that just because a woman loses her mucus plug she’s in labor. Although this is usually a strong indicator that labor is just around the corner.
Note: If you lose it before your 36th week you should let your health care provide know immediately. You may be going into pre-term labor. If this is the case, you may be prescribed calcium channel blockers to try and slow or stop the contractions. This would be administered directly into your blood through IV.
Should let my health care provider know if I lose it?
There is no reason to ring your health care provider if you are close to your due date. If your are planning to deliver in the hospital, you may want to call and give them a heads up. If you have a previously gone into early labor and think you may have lost your mucus plug, you should call immediately.
Also, any abnormal, heavy bleeding should be brought to your health care providers attention. This could be the sign of some serious complications.
Understanding what to expect when you lose your mucus plug will help you better understand the natural signals you body provides. A built in signal your baby will soon arrive.