The last month of pregnancy is the worst. You are constantly searching for every little sign that you might be going into labor. You are uncomfortable, tired, and hungry all of the time.
Every time you wipe you seek the toilet paper for the mucus plug, because you have heard that your labor comes quickly after losing the plug, but the plug never comes. You might lose hope. Can you go into labor without losing your mucus plug?
The mucus plug is a mass that develops during pregnancy. The mass is created by cervical mucus.
The mucus plug lodges itself in the uterus to protect the cervical canal. The job of the mucus plug is to protect the cervix from both bacteria as well as pathogens.
The mucus plug is especially helpful to protect the uterus during intercourse as well as during vaginal exams.
Although cervical mucus is naturally rich in antimicrobial the mucus plug also has awesome bacteria busting properties. The Lysozymes that are located in the mucus plug can destroy the cell walls of bacteria.
The mucus plug begins to develop at the beginning of the pregnancy with the increase of both Estrogen and Progesterone.
The mucus plug remains in the body until the end of pregnancy. Even though the plug is there throughout the entire pregnancy the mucus plug is constantly being regenerated, so the cervical mucus is fresh within the plug.
Characteristics Of The Mucus Plug
The mucus plug will look like mucus you may see when you blow your nose. It can also look like phlegm that gets caught in your throat when you get sick.
The mucus plug typically looks like watering egg whites. The mucus plug can be white, clear, tinged with yellow and can even have blood mixed in the mucus.
Losing Mucus Plug
Before talking more about the mucus plug I must talk about lightening. At the end of pregnancy the baby begins to get ready to leave it’s home.
The baby begins to “drop” further down into the pelvis. The “drop” is also called lightening.
It is called lightening, because the baby begins to bring much relief to mom’s ribs and lungs. Once babies “drop” moms mention less heartburn as well as being able to breathe easier.
When the baby drops it becomes engaged. When your baby is engaged the body will begin to produce Prostaglandins that stimulates the cervix and causes it to ripen.
Ripening is when the cervix softens shortens in readiness for labor. Ripening causes the mucus plug to slip away.
The mucus plug will then be released from the body. Women might notice the plug in their underwear, or even when they wipe.
The women might immediately notice the huge clump of mucus with streaks of blood and know that it is their mucus plug.
However, some women might only lose pieces of their mucus plug throughout the end of their pregnancy.
Can You Go Into Labor Without Losing Your Mucus Plug?
Towards the end of pregnancy most pregnant women seek for labor signs. They are so excited to meet their new little babies and are anxious to not be pregnant anymore.
Last month of pregnancy is so hard and most women are just excited for the nine months to come to an end. Women begin to search for reasons that they might be going into labor.
One sign of labor that women begin to search for is losing the mucus plug. The mucus plug is proof that the baby dropped further into the the pelvis and is getting closing to being born.
A mucus plug is sometimes solid evidence that the impending labor is near. It gives women hope.
However, losing the mucus plug does not automatically mean that the pregnant women will be going into labor.
The mucus plug can continually regenerate and can even regrow. If a woman loses her mucus plug before the baby is ready then her body will naturally create a new mucus plug to protect the baby.
I have heard of some women losing multiple mucus plugs towards the end of their pregnancy.
On the other hand, just because a woman does not lose their mucus plug is does not mean that they are not going to be going into labor.
Many women have never even seen their mucus plug, but have happily birthed several children. I have three beautiful children and I have never seen one of my mucus plugs.
The mucus plug will definitely have to leave before the baby is born, but many women’s mucus plug will not leave the body until the bag of waters is bursted. The plug will eventually come out even if it’s unbeknownst to the mother.
What Should You Do If You Lose Your Mucus Plug?
Most women will lose their mucus plug after 37 weeks. If you believe that you have lost your mucus plug then you do not need to panic.
Your baby is still protected by the bag of waters and your mucus plug with rebuild itself to be able to add protection to your uterus.
Some women go into labor a few hours after losing their plug. However, some women may not go into labor for a few weeks after they have lost their plug.
I have heard of women who have lost their plugs at 38 weeks and their baby was still overdue. Therefore, the loss of a plug is actually not a good indicator of labor.
If you believe that you have lost your mucus plug and you are before 37 weeks then you should call your doctor.
Although your mucus plug should regenerate it might show a sign that your body might go into premature labor.
Don’t be afraid to call your doctor if you are ever worried about the health of yourself, or your baby.
Signs of Labor
Although losing the mucus plug can certainly be a sign of labor it doesn’t mean that you will be holding your baby in your arms any second.
Many women desperately are looking for signs to know if they are going to be going into labor soon. Here are several signs that women have admitted having before going into labor.
Some of these signs include:
Bag of waters breaks
Cramps and back pain
Increased vaginal discharge
Losing your mucus plug does not mean that you will instantly go into labor. Not losing your mucus plug does not mean that your labor is nowhere near.
For many women, they never lose their mucus plug until their bag of waters breaks. Some women might even lose their mucus plug, but the plug might rebuild.
Pregnant women are desperately searching for a solid sign that they might be going into labor, but the mucus plug should not be used to tell when you will be going into labo.