During pregnancy, women, especially those bearing the firstborn, often wonder how to determine that childbirth begins. And the closer the date of the expected date of birth is selected, the more relevant this question becomes. There are many precursors of childbirth, but not all of them appear in every pregnant woman. Everything is very individual. The most common harbinger of childbirth in pregnant women is the discharge of the mucus plug, which protected the baby from germs getting into it for 9 months. How to understand that the body is preparing for the upcoming birth in the near future?
Signs of imminent labor
Signs of imminent labor tell the expectant mother that her body is in an intensive mode preparing to help the child leave the cozy mother’s tummy. There are the following signs of upcoming childbirth:
- Before giving birth, the abdomen falls, as a result of which the pregnant woman becomes easier to breathe, usually this precursor appears 1-3 weeks before the birth.
- Weight is reduced by about 1.5 kg, which is associated with a decrease in puffiness.
- The urge to urinate and loose stools are becoming more frequent. So the body is cleansed before childbirth.
- The cork comes off. It is this sign before childbirth is the most reliable and makes a pregnant woman in the enhanced mode to collect packages in the hospital.
What is mucus plug in pregnant women? Her appointment.
Mucous plug is, in fact, a clot of dense viscous mucus, which is produced by the glands of the inner layer of the cervix. This mucus resembles the protein of a raw chicken egg, only of a denser consistency. It begins to form under the action of pregnancy hormones immediately after the implantation of the ovum into the wall of the uterus. And ends its formation somewhere towards the end of the first obstetric month of pregnancy.
Mucous plug is designed to protect the unborn child from various adverse environmental factors. It serves as a barrier between it and the outside world, blocking the entrance to the uterus.
Sometimes it goes away imperceptibly, because as different women its quantity, color and consistency can differ significantly, it can also mix with ordinary vaginal secretions and come out in small pieces. But more often than not, a cork is difficult not to notice. It may be colorless or it may have a yellowish or pinkish tint. It is possible to find blood streaks in it, but it is not necessary to be afraid of this, since blood appears from burst capillaries when opening the cervix before childbirth. The amount of mucus plug is about 1-2 tablespoons.
Why does the traffic jam before delivery?
It is necessary to understand why the discharge of the tube occurs just before childbirth, and not earlier. And the thing is that before childbirth a woman increases the production of the hormone estrogen, under the influence of which it becomes less dense and in itself leaves the vagina. In addition, the uterus cervix is preparing for childbirth, it is shortened and slightly opened, which also contributes to the cork moving away. And she can move away from an overly active gynecological examination, which provokes an increase in the tone of the uterus, its contraction occurs and the tube is pushed out.
Stopped the cork – when will the birth start? To this question, even the best experts can not give a definite answer. Because it all depends on the body of a woman. For some women, the stopper goes away a few hours before the start of the first bouts, for others – a few days. And for third, it comes out in small pieces for 1-2 weeks before delivery. It is also not uncommon for the cork to recede during the active labor in the hospital.
How to understand that the mucus plug comes off
Many experts consider it normal if a pregnant woman has a cork not earlier than two weeks before the expected date of delivery. When it is released, it is better to consult with your doctor in the near future, especially if you are embarrassed by the appearance of the cork. The most frequent situation occurs when the stopper goes out during a morning trip to the toilet or a shower. A woman may not even notice her, but just feel like something came out of the vagina.
Women who are not pregnant for the first time do not panic at the sight of traffic jams, knowing that they have at least a few hours, or even a few days. But everything may turn out to be more transient, because, as is well known, the second and subsequent genera are more swift than the first.
What should I do if the cork comes off?
What to do if the traffic jam starts to move away? The very first rule – do not panic! You need to call the doctor who is leading your pregnancy, explain everything to him, describe the type of cork, its amount, changes in your well-being and the duration of pregnancy. If your pregnancy is still far from completion, the doctor will invite you for an examination and may put you in a hospital for preservation. If the date of delivery is just around the corner, then the doctor will most likely recommend collecting all the things at the maternity hospital and waiting for the onset of regular contractions or the discharge of amniotic fluid.
And remember that the cork protected the child from infection. Therefore, any swimming in ponds, pools or taking a bath at home after the discharge of the cork is unacceptable. It is necessary to bathe only under a shower and change bedding and underwear more often. You also have to give up on intimacy with your partner. If we neglect these factors, it can lead to infection of the fetus. In most cases, a pregnant woman still has enough time after the discharge of the mucous membrane in order to properly prepare for the first meeting with the baby.
When do I need to see a doctor?
If the end of pregnancy is nearing, and the cork does not go away, this is not a reason to consult a doctor. Maybe she already left, not noticed by you. And maybe come out at the first fights in the process of childbirth.
The matter is much more serious if you confuse the discharge of the cork with the discharge of amniotic fluid. Water is a liquid that resembles ordinary water without color or odor. Water leakage can occur when the integrity of the amniotic bubble is damaged due to various reasons. Water flows in small portions when coughing, rising from bed, stool, etc. If you have noticed similar symptoms in yourself, see a doctor immediately. If the mucus plug has departed before the 37th week of pregnancy – this is also a reason to contact a specialist. Perhaps there is a threat of premature birth, so you can not pull with the consultation.
If the mucus comes off with a lot of blood, it requires immediate medical attention, as there is a threat of placental abruption, which can be very dangerous for the baby. Now that you know everything about the mucus plug, you can easily figure it out and be aware of what to do next. And remember that giving birth is a natural process and the body of every woman will no doubt cope with this difficult and responsible mission.