As we mamas know, when it comes to talking about pregnancy and childbirth, there are plenty of topics that veer into TMI. Discussion of the mucus plug is definitely one of them, but questions about it are super-common for first-time preggos. I did a post a while back on 5 big pregnancy concerns, and the MP was one on the list.
Loss of the MP is a sign of labor, but does it mean the clock's ticking and it's time to head to the hospital?
Some CafeMoms said they went into labor anywhere from a few hours to several days or even weeks after losing the mucus plug -- some said they ever even knew they lost it.
According to the baby gurus at Dr. Spock, here's what to expect when it comes to this fun preggo detail.
What is the mucus plug?
It's an accumulation of secretions that form within the opening to the uterus -- it serves as a protective barrier between infection from the outside world and your growing babe. Near the end of your pregnancy, your cervix will begin to thin out and dilate; as it does, you may lose the MP (similar to vaginal discharge) gradually or in a more obvious way.
Does losing it mean labor's coming soon?
It's a sign that labor is approaching, but, as the CafeMoms report, how quickly varies -- it can be hours, days, or weeks. Communicate with your health care provider, of course, but, unless other signs of labor warrant it, you probably won't be headed off to the hospital immediately.
If you've given birth before, what was your first sign of labor?