When we get pregnant, we start to learn all sorts of terminology that we’ve never heard of before. Words that we learn when we’re immersed in the wonderful world of motherhood that will stay with us forever. Today we want to talk about the mucus plug, a barrier that protects our baby and guarantees their well-being throughout the pregnancy.
The mucus plug is formed by secretions produced by the cervix from the first few weeks of pregnancy. It forms a barrier that’s capable of isolating the uterus and preventing bacteria from entering.
In the final stages of pregnancy, you may start to lose the mucus plug as the cervix begins to thin and dilate slightly. It may come out gradually in the form of a thick fluid. In fact, you may not even realise, as it can happen when you go to the toilet.
The discharge may be yellowish, although it can also look bloody or like a clot, which is why it’s sometimes called the bloody show. But don’t worry! This doesn’t mean your baby’s going to be born immediately; several days may pass before you go into labour. In fact, the mucus plug can be regenerated, which helps keep the baby protected.
When you should go to the doctor
- If you haven’t yet reached week 37 and you think you’ve expelled the mucus plug.
- If you start bleeding after expelling the mucus plug and it doesn’t stop.
- It’s important to distinguish between the mucus plug (similar texture to vaginal discharge, jelly-like and not very abundant) and amniotic fluid, which is clear and has a distinct smell; you may leak this fluid without having any control over the flow.
If you’ve had your show, it means you’ll soon get to see your baby.
When did you lose your mucus plug? What was your experience of it?