Losing your mucus plug: here’s what you need to know
Losing your mucus plug is a sign that you need to get your hospital bag ready
If you see that you’ve lost your mucus plug, it’s a sign that your cervix is beginning to open wider and that you are getting ready to give birth.
Keep in mind that just because you lost your plug, that doesn’t mean labor is imminent.
There’s also no need to panic, unless, of course, you begin to experience other symptoms.
For a lot of mothers-to-be, those last few weeks of pregnancy can feel like they are never going to end. You might get anxious or you might feel that you are restless. Either way, you know that your due date is approaching and that life as you knew it is going to change forever. The moment that your mucus plug falls out, it means that your body is preparing to give birth.
With that said, there’s no reason to panic. The best thing for pregnant women to do is to relax, focus on your mental and your physical health and let your body do what it was meant to do. In other words, trust your instincts as your baby begins the first step in making his or her debut in this world.
It’s almost go time
As your doctor or health practitioner will explain to you, the mucus plug accumulates in the cervix throughout the nine months of your pregnancy. When the cervix begins to open, that’s when the mucus is discharged. The color may look clear, it might be pink or in some cases, it might even be bloody. Some women have even described their mucus plug as something that looks like a cork that helps seal the cervix. It also helps to protect your baby in the womb.
While every pregnancy and everyone’s labor and delivery timelines are different, in most cases when you lose your mucus plug that means you can expect labor to begin as soon as one week. In some cases, it might take two weeks before a woman feels her first contraction.
Also, take it as a sign that you are beginning to dilate. For some women, they might feel uncomfortable or irregular or you might not feel anything at all.
When to head to the hospital
For a lot of pregnant women who have experienced labor and delivery in the past, they will know that false alarms may occur. You might feel like you are contracting and that you need to be rushed to the hospital, but that’s not always the case. False labor does occur.
Some women might also confuse their mucus plug with something that is called “bloody show.” A bloody show means that labor could very well be imminent while a mucus plug looks more like a jelly-like glob that just says that your body has taken the first step to labor.
Many health professionals would agree that a woman should be admitted to the hospital once she is at least 5 of 6 centimeters dilated and that she is experiencing regular contractions. A woman is also considered to be in the active stages of labor once the cervix dilates from 3 to 4 centimeters. The contractions will also get longer and stronger.
Keep calm and carry on
By at least the 36th week of pregnancy, health professionals advise that pregnant women and their partners prepare their delivery plan by registering at the hospital, packing an overnight bag and having their car seat ready and properly installed, should they plan on bringing their child home in their own vehicle.
While there’s no doubt that every parent can’t wait to meet and see their newborn for the first time, it’s best to remember that you don’t want to make this a stressful period in your life. Before you take on the task of delivering your precious bundle of joy, take care of yourself. Sit back, relax, and focus on getting ready to start this new and exciting chapter in life.
A deeper dive – Related reading on the 101:
- The best amusement parks to visit for Halloween | Living 101
Add some thrills to a spooky adventure
- The best fall travel destinations | Living 101
Here’s the scoop from all the sweater weather destinations you could ask for