When you’re pregnant, the mucus plug prevents bacteria and harmful germs from entering your uterus and potentially harming your baby. In the weeks or days before labor starts, you will lose your mucus plug. The passing of the mucus plug is considered one of the first signs that labor will soon start.
For first time-mothers, they can lose their mucus plug one or two weeks before labor starts. In subsequent labors, you can lose your mucus plug and go into labor shortly afterwards.
What is a Bloody Show?
The loss of the mucus plug is often called a “bloody show.” When the cervix (opening of the uterus) starts to efface (soften) or dilate (open up), you will experience a bloody show – a mucus discharge that is clear, pink, brown, or slightly bloody. This is a sign that you have passed the mucus plug.
Some women are completely unaware that they passed their mucus plug, due to the increased vaginal discharge they are already experiencing.
Bloody Show – A Sign of Labor
After you have a bloody show, you should be on the lookout for your first labor contractions – which signal that you are in labor. Passing the mucus plug (bloody show) may indicate that labor is on its way, but you shouldn’t be rushing to the hospital just yet.
Wait until you are having strong, regular contractions that are getting closer together and lasting longer as time passes.
When to Call Your Doctor about the Mucus Plug
There’s no need to call your doctor about your mucus plug. Just mention that you’ve experienced your bloody show. However, call your doctor ASAP if your discharge is heavy or turns bright red.
Discharge that’s bright red or two tablespoons or more may be a sign of a complication – such as placenta abruption or placenta previa.