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The mucus plug is a thick seal of mucus that keeps your cervix shut and prevents bacteria from entering the uterus during pregnancy. This mucus plug plays a role in protecting your baby during your nine months of pregnancy think about it as a cork on a good bottle of wine. And, as with wine, the plug coming our is a sign that action will soon follow. As the cervix dilates and thins, you will pass the mucus plug. Most of the time, passing the mucus plug is a signal that labor will start within the next 24 hours.

What does the mucus plug look like?

Discussing the look of the mucus plug might be a bit gross for some, but how will you know what to look out for if you have no idea what the mucus plug looks like? The chances are that you're "over" graphic descriptions of gross stuff after you became a veteran of such pregnancy signs as morning sickness, constipation, and heartburn, anyway. If you have ever practiced fertility charting, and monitored your cervical mucus, you will have some idea what the mucus plug will look like. It is a thick coin of mucus. Often, that mucus is white and stringy, mixed with blood. Other women liken the mucus plug they lose at the end of pregnancy more to the snot that can be noticed if you have a bad cold. Some expectant mothers pass the plug all at once. In that case, it will be hard to avoid. For others though, the mucus plug will be lost in parts over the course of several hours.

When will you lose it?

Passing the mucus plug is without a doubt a sign that labor is about to start very soon. Therefore, it should ideally happen when you have carried your pregnancy to term. The third trimester, from 38 weeks to 42 weeks, is the time you should be on the look out for the mucus plug. If you notice anything that looks like the mucus plug before term, you might go into pre-term labor, so contact your doctor right away.

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