How will I know when I'm losing my mucus plug? What does it look like? - Lynne in Tampa, Florida
The expert answers
The mucus plug is just one of the ways that your body provides a protective environment for your baby while he/she is growing inside you. It is a thick plug of mucus in the cervix, or opening of the womb.
Near the end of your pregnancy the cervix begins to thin out and dilate, or open up. This happens at different times and in differing degrees with each pregnancy, so one pregnancy may lose the mucus plug in the last weeks before labor begins and another may experience this just before or in the early stages of labor. Sometimes the loss of the plug is very noticeable and dramatic, coming out in one large piece or several small ones over a short period of time.
Other times it happens so gradually
that the mother is hardly even aware that it is happening. Sometimes the loss of the plug is accompanied by some streaks of
blood, or bloody show. As you can see, as with most things
regarding birth there is a very wide range of normal. Don't be
concerned if you are not aware of losing your mucus plug, some
moms aren't. If you are aware of it, it is just one more sign
that your body is getting ready for labor.