The Mucus Plug is definitely one of those gagging aspects of pregnancies that are typically not discussed with your husband or any other person who has never been pregnant. It’s like the gooey little secret of pregnancy and labor. In fact, the first time I questioned another mother about her mucus plug, I said it in an almost whisper, so I could pretend the word was never spoken if she didn’t know what I was talking about. Lucky for me, she replied with an “eww, oh yes, I KNOW what the plug is.” From there, I eased back in my seat and we indulged in the icky-mommy discussion of will I or will I not go into labor soon and the oohs and ahhs of possibility.
What is the Mucus Plug?
The Mucus Plug is the accumulation of cervical mucus that forms at the opening of your uterus in order to seal and protect your baby from bacteria and infection. As your cervix begins to thin and dilate, the loss of the mucus plug is likely.
What Does the Mucus Plug Look Like?
The American Pregnancy Association described the mucus plug as looking “clear, slightly pink, or blood tinged.” It is typically stringy and slimy.
What Do Real Moms Say it Looks Like?
After talking in a hush with other mommies, some of the responses and descriptions I got when asking what their plugs looked like was…(BRACE YOURSELF)
…”bloody and mucusy.”
…”looked like snot.”
…”looked like yellowy snot.”
and my more blunt mommy friend said…
…”it looked like I blew my nose in my panties.”
How Do You Lose Your Mucus Plug?
In my own experience, I was 38 weeks pregnant and had at that point tried all the old wives tales on how to jumpstart labor. I mean, I had walked, jumped, skipped, drank Castor oil, had sex, ate spicy food and so on…all with no luck. Finally, I stood in my kitchen with my husband and mother- in- law discussing my wish to get this baby out of me! When out of nowhere I sneezed. This was not your average sneeze. It was a whole-body-sprung-forward-snotty-kind-of sneeze. When I straightened up, I felt warm, messy panties. My eyes widened and I practically ran into the bathroom hoping my water had broken. Instead, I found a big boogie in my panties. Yellow, brown with a tinge of blood. My mother-in-law is missing any sense of discretion and wanted to see. Fron there we were giggling and waiting for the next sign of labor. My husband and I went for a 5 mile waddling walk with anticipation. Well, guess what? I did not have my baby until a week later and I was INDUCED. Thanks a lot mucus plug.
How Quickly Did Other Real Moms go into Labor After the Loss of the Plug?
After discussing this with other mommies, the answers varied extremely. The more lucky moms, who also had those perfect baby-belly-bodies and still had the energy for sex said….
…”I went into labor the same day!”
and….”my water broke 10 minutes later.”
and even…”I went into labor 24 hours afterward.”
Then there are us suffering-preggos who were induced, or waited up to 2 weeks before any sign of labor. In fact, some mother’s lost their plug numerous times because it is said to regenerate.
The Moral of the Mucus Plug…
It is ooey, it is gooey and if your lucky…it may be the first sign of labor. If you are unlucky…it may be meaningless and continue to tease you for weeks before delivery. My hope, for you, is a snotty start to the birth of your baby!