As a Birth Doula, I love a well-timed call to let me know that my client has lost her mucus plug!
Just, me? Okay moving on!
This is one of the first signs of true labor and a great indication that the baby will be arriving soon. However, I use the term “soon” loosely as it can still be a few hours or days.
Here’s What A Mucus Plug Is:
According to AmericanPregnancy.org, a mucus plug blocks the opening of the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus.
As the cervical blood vessels rupture and the cervix begins to thin and dilate, the plug will fall out, ideally, between 37-41 weeks. If you think your plug has fallen out early (before 37 weeks or full term) make sure to notify your care team.
The mucus plug will either come out in pieces or one large chunk and can be various shades and colors. Pink, yellow, white, and brown-tinged mucus is considered normal. If you are experiencing any bleeding, red-colored mucus or a big increase in discharge along with or in addition to the plug, I recommend you call and send a picture to your care team.
Here’s How Your Mucus Plug Relates To Labor:
The time between plug loss and active labor will vary from mother to mother. Some mamas can lose their plug, their water breaks and then they can deliver the baby within hours. Some will see weeks pass from plug loss to labor.
If you experience a large time frame from when you lose your mucus plug to your due date, you’ll want to ask your care team a couple things:
- Is it safe to bathe after plug loss?
- Is it safe to have sex after plug loss?
- Is it safe to swim after plug loss?
Some providers do not recommend these activities because of the risk of infection.
In general, after plug loss, it’s a good idea to stay released and relaxed. Make sure your bag is packed and your birth ball is inflated because baby is coming soon!
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