Mucus Plug – What it is and When you lose it
You know you want to see a mucus plug. A giant snot-textured, slightly colored glob of mucus that falls out of your vagina at the end of pregnancy, and you aren’t the least bit curious? No way. Pregnancy brings with it some weird stuff, but this takes the cake. It is about time that more women learned about this disgusting snot-ball of ick. WARNING: Actual mucus plug photos are below. (All were found in cyber-space. If one is yours, please let us know and we will credit you.) According to AmericanPregnancy.org, the mucus plug is a thick gelatinous plug of mucus that blocks the opening of the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus. It is commonly expelled prior to labor, allowing the baby to pass through the cervix during birth. It is not the same thing as bloody show. The two are often confused. The mucus plug helps protect your growing baby from risk of infection and acts as a “cork” keeping the cervix closed. It has the ability to regenerate if it is lost prior to the body being ready for labor – yes, your mucus plug can REGROW. While most women assume that a lost mucus plug means that labor will be starting, it is untrue. For some women, it can be a sign that baby is ready; but for most, it means nothing. It is lost and then ‘regrows.’ I shouldn’t say that it means nothing, it does mean that the cervix is ripening, softening, and preparing for labor, but it does not mean that labor will be starting soon. On the opposite side of the spectrum, not losing your mucus plug at all doesn’t mean your cervix is not ripening. For some crazy reason, labor is unpredictable. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, you are thrown for a loop. I have worked with many couples, and the mucus plug seems to be a very popular topic of conversation. I have received countless texts exclaiming a lost plug, and then no baby a week later. HA. No one really talks about this little (or big) gross product of pregnancy. I figured that you may want to learn a little bit more about it!
What You Should Know About Your Mucus Plug
- It may be bloody. It shouldn’t be heavily coated in blood (less than a tablespoon total), but will probably have blood tinged streaks throughout the glob.
- It can fall out in pieces, over days or as an entire glob at once.
- It can regrow and does not mean that labor is near.
- If cramping occurs, it could be the early stages of labor.
- It can be scary if you aren’t prepare to lose it.
- Losing your plug is not dangerous, and is not a sign of danger to your baby or pregnancy. However, it should be brought to the birth team’s attention if you are not yet full term.
- Seek medical attention immediately if the bright red bleeding has started after discharge of the plug - it can be a sign of placenta previa or placental abruption.