If you have reached 38 weeks in pregnancy and notice that the mucus plug has come off, it means that the labor is closer now. Its not the time to panic, but a completely normal occurrence in your late pregnancy. It happens mostly at 38 or 39 weeks and is an indication that labor is approaching soon.
Mucus plug, as the name says is a thick, sticky, slimy secretion that forms in the cervix and helps prevent bacteria from reaching the uterus and blocks other infections as well. This mucus is full of antibodies that help protect your baby. It forms in the early pregnancy stage and comes off right before the beginning of labor.
How it happens?
When you complete 37 weeks of pregnancy, your body starts to prepare itself for delivery. This is the time when hormonal changes occur and your baby may drop lower into pelvis. Cervix begins to stretch and dilate, causing the mucus plug to loosen. The pressure in your pelvis may also lead to the loss of mucus plug. This is when it is discharged from vagina. The color may vary for different women. Some may find it transparent or white. Some may find it brownish or pale yellow. It may also be pink, tinged with blood which is also considered normal.
What happens after losing mucus plug
It is not possible for all women to notice that their mucus plug has come off. It may seem like an ordinary vaginal discharge. In some women it may happen after their water breaks and in others, it may happen gradually. Losing mucus plug is one of the early signs of labor, but you should know that it differs for each woman. Some women may go into labor as soon as it happens and it may take few hours or days for others. It may take a few weeks for the onset of labor in some women.
Signs to look for
If you have completed 37 weeks and notice that the mucus plug is come off, you should look for other signs such as contractions and pain growing steadily or water breaking or or bloody show. If this is the case, then it means that your baby is about to be born. Even if you don’t have any of these signs after losing mucus plug, it is nothing to be worried about, as it is absolutely normal. Mucus plug may also be loosened due to multiple cervical examinations. Also, if you lose mucus plug before 37 weeks gestation, it does not always indicate that you may have preterm labor. But it is better to let your doctor know about this and take their advice.