Mucus Plug (The Show) During Pregnancy – FAQs

Mucus Plug (The Show) During Pregnancy - FAQs

If you’re pregnant, you’ve probably heard about the mucus plug, which is also known as ‘the bloody show’.

Most women are familiar with cervical mucus, which is a type of discharge occurring at different times during our menstrual cycle.

At the time of ovulation, the mucus changes and acts as a protective path for sperm to travel safely.

You might notice an increase in cervical mucus around the time of your ovulation, due to surging levels of oestrogen.

Cervical mucus plays an important role during pregnancy as well, forming the all-important mucus plug.

What Is A Mucus Plug?

During pregnancy, the cervix secretes thick mucus to protect your uterus and reproductive organs from invading bacteria and other pathogens.

The plug adds an extra layer of protection for your baby.

Towards the end of your pregnancy, your cervix begins to ripen and soften, preparing for labour.

This can happen weeks or hours before labour begins, and there is no way of knowing how long this will process take.

As the cervix begins to change, some of the mucus plug may come away.

Some women don’t notice their plug coming away, due to increased cervical mucus occurring during pregnancy.

This is known as leucorrhea, and is a whitish coloured vaginal discharge women normally see during pregnancy.

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What Does A Mucus Plug Look Like?

In order to know how to identify your mucus plug, you’re probably wondering, “what does a mucus plug look like?”

The fact is, it can look different from one woman to the next.

The consistency and colours of a mucus plug varies.

It might be like a jelly-like, stringy or even a sticky discharge.

You might have a clear mucus plug, or one that’s white, yellow or a creamy colour.

The mucus plug can be tinged with pink, red or even brown.

This is due to small blood vessels breaking when the cervix begins to thin and dilate.

Blood can get caught in the mucus plug – this is why it’s also known as ‘bloody show’.

If you notice any green in your mucus plug, let your care provider know, so they can make sure it’s not meconium (baby’s first poo).

Here is an example of what a mucus plug might look like, from doula Aimee Sing:

What Does A Mucus Plug Look Like

Can You Gradually Lose Your Mucus Plug?

Many women discover their mucus plug after wiping themselves with toilet paper.

When the plug begins to come away, it can be in a continuous discharge or it can actually resemble a plug.

Not all women will see the mucus plug before they are well into labour.

If you’re unsure what the discharge actually is, pop on a sanitary pad and keep and eye on the amount and colour.

You can show the pad to your care provider if you’re unsure or have concerns.

Don’t worry – they’ve seen all kinds of body fluids many times before, and won’t mind.

What Happens After You Lose Your Mucus Plug?

If the show is quite heavy and you’ve had good contractions, your midwives may be quite excited.

They’ll be excited because this means things are moving along well, and your cervix is dilating.

They can reassure you of this without having to perform a vaginal examination.

Do I Need To Call My Care Provider?

If your mucus plug appears normal in colour, there’s no need to contact your care provider.

You can let them know at your next check up or if you go into labour.

If you experience any bright red discharge, it’s best to let your care provider know, so they can make an assessment if necessary.

Any green-yellow should also be reported, because if baby’s first poo is present, it’ll need to be investigated, in case your baby isn’t happy.

How Long After Losing Your Mucus Plug Do You Go Into Labour?

There is no exact science as to when labour will begin – each woman is different and her experience of labour can change every time she has a baby.

The mucus plug is only one of a number of signs that labour is ahead of you.

A member poll in the BellyBelly forums showed:

  • 45% of women lost their mucus plug 1-2 weeks before labour started
  • 34% saw their mucus plug 2 days before labour began
  • 30% of women lost their mucus plug during labour
  • Around 17.65% didn’t see theirs at all

It’s easy to feel very excited if you do see your show but try to avoid getting too excited and telling everyone immediately – it might still take some time before labour gets underway.

Dealing with frequent phone calls and unexpected visits from well meaning family and friends may get overwhelming and could even slow your labour down.

Early labour can take a while to establish, so if your mucus plug begins to come away and you aren’t yet experiencing contractions, try to relax and stay calm while you wait for things to progress.

Your body will conserve energy for the more active stage of labour later on if you don’t try and get things moving too early.

Go about your day as usual and feel confident things are happening and labour is not too far away!

Recommended Reading: 13 Natural Pain Relief Options For Labour.

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Sam McCulloch enjoyed talking so much about birth she decided to become a birth educator and doula, supporting parents in making informed choices about their birth experience. In her spare time she writes novels. She is mother to three beautiful little humans.


  1. HI, I was just curious if when you have “the show”, the first time you see the blood could there possibly be a dime sized blood clot. This morning at around 2 when I went to the bathroom there was blood (not alot and it was mucus like) there was a clot. When I went again at like 330 there was no blood, but at 5 when I went there was mucus like blood again but no clots. Is that normal for “the show”?

  2. Hi! I’m on my 30th week and 5th day and yesterday morning at around 7am after peeing I had a mucus discharge which I thought is just an ordinary discharge. When I check it out it’s dark brown and have a small blood cloth. Then after that nothing follows, at around 3pm I had a few discharge. Today I didnt have any. Im a bit worried though ’cause its the first time that happened to me. Is that normal? My OB says its ok but still Im worried. Thanks for your response.

  3. As a midwife, I would like to clarify that clear mucous of any sort is not considered a mucous plug. The mucous plug is not clear but usually brown and and gelatinous. Many women may not pass their mucous plug until well into active labor. When women do pass the brown mucous plug, it can only indicate the cervix is either softening or dilating but labor may not be imminent for up to 2 weeks. The clear mucous you are referring to may be passed starting at 36 weeks or so…..

    1. With my first two I had streaks of pink in my mucus plug but all three of my children my mucous plug was mostly white and milky looking in color and had the consistency of Jello so it is very possible that the mucous plug can be a clear or whitish color. It’s not always bloody or brown in color. It’s different from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy. Please don’t be so quick to give false information

      1. Mine was clear/white almost like cartlidge texture and was confirmed bt my dr that it was my mucus plug ..came out in peices a week before i had my son ..:) so it is possible to not have blood

    2. I just turned 36 weeks and this time mine is thick gooey and light yellow so far. Its coming away in pieces like last time except a bit earlier than I expected. Last time it started 2 weeks before I went into labor and it was clear at first, I lost all 1 week before and it was thick gooey and whitish. My sister and mother have had 3 and 5 children and theirs was never brown lol so idk about it not being clear or white normally but ours was.

  4. What if you are close to 37 weeks and woke up to find yourself covered in stringy like blood? I know I should call my doctor, but what does this mean??

  5. Hello, this morning while taking a shower I noticed a small amount of clear sticky mucus discharge. I’m 28 weeks and I am wondering if it is something that I should be alarmed about?

  6. Am 39 weeks and my due date is Aug 6. Last night I had sex and then this morning I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom I felt abit wet so when I when to the bathroom I notice my underwear was red and notice I did red. Am in no pain or bloody more. What does this mean? This is the first time this happened I already have 4 pregnancy and this is my 5th.

  7. Hi there. I am 34 wks 5 days. Yesterday I wiped and actually looked at the toilet paper for some reason, and noticed exactly what everyone is describing as a “snotty” discharge. It was clear, no blood. But it was definitely MUCH different than what I am used to seeing. I was told that my due date it Jan 11th based on her size and Jan 18th based on my LMP. Could this be my mucus plug ????? And if so, should I expect labor to happen within a few weeks !?

    1. Yes that sounds like your mucus plug! Every pregnancy is different, but if your baby is on track and you are almost 35 weeks, your early labor should start in 3-4 weeks and then progress. Call your provider if you have any pain or bloody discharge or labor sx prematurely.

  8. So what exactly does it mean if it is yellow? I discharge a lot now since i have been pregnant. Im 25 weeks. I have only seen the yellow mucus a couple of times so far. Is it a bad thing???

    1. Every woman is different. Sometimes the mucus plug, often yellow in color, will break off early in small pieces but then will regenerate if too early for delivery of the baby. This is to provide continued protection from infection unti the appropriate time for labor. If the entire plug passes, bloody show or pain occurs, notify your provider as this could be a risk for premature cervical dilation and labor.

  9. I’m 30 weeks in two days and have been experiencing a snot/flem type discharge coming out when I’m on the loo.. Don’t know what it is? Any ideas

    1. It is important to note the color and type of discharge and amount. As an example, a watery green discharge might indicate that the baby passed meconium. This does not necessarily mean there will be problems, but at 40 weeks delivery is close, and the provider should be notified of any unusual discharge.

  10. I’m 25 weeks and 6 days along n I’ve been noticing yellowish snot like mucus for bout 3 weeks now and Friday nite I noticed a big long thick one and today (Sunday) while pooping I felt something slide out of me and when I flushed toilet I saw that looked lik bloody mucus has anyone had dis happen to them

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