During pregnancy, a woman’s body produces a type of thick mucus in order to plug or block the cervix, the uterus’ opening from the vagina. This particular mucus protects the whole uterine environment from infections, repelling bacteria from the exterior.
This plug is supposed to stay in a single place throughout the pregnancy period. But towards the end of pregnancy, the mucus plug is slated to become relatively more vulnerable. During this time, the cervix starts becoming soft because of hormonal changes, causing it to further open up before releasing plenty of mucus plug in the process.
There are multiple people who will notice that there has been a loss of their mucus plug when it happens since it looks just like a slimy blob of snot. Typically, the plug is yellowish-white, tinged with brown, pink, or red streaks. When someone loses their plug, chances are they will spot the same while wiping themselves or in the toilet – or they might not even notice it in the first place.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, if you do get to see the plug, it simply means that labor is on its way. But how soon is labor on its way? Or how to speed up labor after losing mucus plug? Let’s find out!
But First, What Is Mucus Plug?
Before we talk about how to speed up labor after losing mucus plug at home, let’s find out what exactly a mucus plug is and how you can recognize it.
To comprehend the crucial role a mucus plug plays in labor, you have to understand what is mucus plug is, especially for first-time parents. It’s a protective barrier that is created in your body early during pregnancy. The primary function of a mucus plug is to protect the baby from probable infections by simply sealing off the cervix.
This acts like a physical barrier between the vagina and uterus, making sure that the environment for the baby to flourish is safe.
Recognizing Mucus Plug:
It is essential to understand the appearance of a mucus plug so that when it dislodges, you can identify the same. Typically, it looks like a jelly-like, slightly bloody, or clear substance. At the same time, it can also resemble a sticky, stringy discharge that is about one to two inches long.
The presence of blood, which is at times referred to as the bloody snow, is not very unusual. Hover, if you are able to experience vaginal bleeding or detect a foul odor, then you reach out to a professional healthcare expert immediately for advice.
How Dilated Are You When You Lose Your Mucus Plug?
This actually depends on the person who is pregnant and the type of pregnancy they are undergoing. Your cervix might dilate upto 3 cm when the mucus plug falls out or less. Now, there are certain food items that you can eat to ensure that your cervix dilates faster.
These food items are as follows,
- Raspberry leaf tea,
- Eggplant parm,
- Spicy food,
- Pineapple, and
How Many Times Can You Lose Your Mucus Plug?
You might not lose all your mucus plug all at once. It might happen gradually, making it relatively less likely for you to even notice initially. Interestingly, you can actually lose your mucus plug more than one time. If you end up losing your mucus plug too early, your cervix will reproduce the plug.
At the same time, it is also possible that losing mucus plug too early can be a sign of pre-term labor as well. In that case, it is always best to listen to your body and consult with your healthcare provider or doctor if you are not really sure about what is happening.
But don’t fret, though – it is also important that you stay stress-free during your pregnancy – worrying too much is not good for your health, or for your unborn child’s health for that matter.
So, How To Speed Up Labor After Losing Mucus Plug?
Once you lose the mucus plug, don’t fret – it is not absolutely necessary that your labor will immediately commence. It is a very common misconception that labor will begin right after your body loses mucus plug.
In real life, labor can start at any time, from a few weeks to days, right after the mucus plug dislodges. Therefore, it is not vital to depend solely on the plug as an indication of imminent labor.
The perfect course of action right after losing your plug relies on what actually happens. If it takes place before the 37-week mark, seeking medical consultation immediately is advisable since it might be a symptom of preterm labor. On the other hand, if you lose mucus plug post 37 weeks, then you can wait for labor patiently.
However, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor regardless of when you lose mucus plug. So, how to speed up labor after losing mucus plug, provided you have a green light from your healthcare provider or doctor?
1. Consume Red Raspberry Leaf Tea:
The benefits of consuming Red Raspberry Leaf tea after losing your mucus plug towards the end of your pregnancy are as follows,
- Tones and strengthens the uterus.
- Promotes healthier and faster labor.
- Promotes quicker postpartum recovery.
- Stimulates contractions.
- Provides nutrients and antioxidants that are good for pregnant women.
2. Use A Birthing Ball:
Birthing balls are helpful during pregnancy, most notably during labor, since these are known for providing a comfy position to sit in during tough times, potentially easing all the discomfort.
Here are some exercises you can try out with a birthing ball!
- At a time, bounce for a few times on the birthing ball.
- Sit on top of the ball and sway those hips in a complete circle without losing contact with the ball.
- Hold the ball in front of you, and then when you squat, raise it over your head. Repeat the exercise.
3. Have Sex:
Yes, it is absolutely true that sperm contain labor-inducing hormones known as prostaglandins. Although studies and evidence to support the claim continue to be limited, there is nothing wrong with trying once since having orgasms can help with uterine contractions.
If you are wondering how to dilate faster, then definitely give sex a go, but if your water has already broken, then you should avoid having any kind of sexual intercourse.
4. Eat Dates:
Dates are rich in fibers and, as a result, can potentially speed up labor when these are consumed frequently during the end of the pregnancy period.
If you eat six dates every day in the final four weeks leading to childbirth, it can actually lessen your chances of undergoing an emergency c-section, increase cervical dilation, and even shorten your labor’s latent phase. Plus, dates also provide several nutrients such as Iron and Vitamin K.
5. Do Some Labor-Inducing Exercises:
Light exercise, like walking, stimulates labor. For instance, curb walking, where one foot is actually on a curb and the other foot is on the ground, can be effective, particularly in terms of promoting labor.
Birthing balls, lunges, and squats – oh my! These are the holy trifecta of inducing labor. But if you are not in the habit of doing exercises, then don’t suddenly do a hundred squats – begin with ten and increase from there.
6. Stimulate Your Nipples:
Be careful – this is one of the best ways to induce labor, and it actually works!
Experts on the internet and in real life say that 50% of pregnant women who tried out nipple stimulation actually went into labor the very next day, while 37.4% of pregnant women went into labor in the next two days, and 3.33% had gone into labor by the third date. It always works – so be careful!
7. Try Sage Oil:
Sage Oil can be used only after 39 weeks have passed, and that too with caution. Always consult with your healthcare provider before trying any oil, herb, etc., during your pregnancy. Sage oil can be used for kicking off uterine contractions. Blend a few drops into a carrier oil and then massage the same on your belly.
Alternatively, just drop a few drops into a cotton ball and then inhale deeply for the impact. It is also said that the 0il boosts the presence of oxytocin or labor hormone.
|The Herbs To Avoid: There are herbs for trying to induce labor at home, but these should always be used with caution. Always speak to your healthcare provider before taking herbs – especially during pregnancy.|
Evening Primrose Oil and black Cohosh
Does Losing The Mucus Plug Mean I’m Going Into Labor?
Yes, when you lose your mucus plug, it does signal labor, but it doesn’t mean you will go into labor exactly at that time. Losing mucus plug, especially when there is little to no blood, is considered to be a good indicator that you might go into labor in 24 to 72 hours. But it is also possible that labor might come weeks after you have lost your mucus plug.
In simple words, losing mucus plug does signal that labor is on its way, but it might still take some time.
After the loss of the mucus plug, your baby continues to be protected unless your water has actually broken and you are in active labor. Your cervix continues to give out mucus in order to replenish what has been lost – plus, the amniotic fluid has multiple immunological agents that will still protect your baby against different infections.
What Should You Do After Losing Mucus Plug?
If you know that you have lost your mucus plug, you might be tempted to get your hospital bag and simply run for the door. Instead, you need to be on the lookout for different warning signals of labor or even contact your doctor once. If it is after-hours, you can actually report the same on the next day or even during your next appointment.
In case your contractions begin, time them. When those contractions become frequent, lasting around thirty seconds and coming every three to six minutes, then you should go to the hospital. Also, if your amniotic sac ruptures, typically known as your water breaking, then you should also head to the hospital.
Of course, there are a few exceptions to these rules. Anyone who is pregnant must get in touch with their healthcare provider or doctor for recommendations if the loss of mucus plug happens before the 37th week of their pregnancy.
Loss of mucus plug before the 37th week is not a big concern, especially if this is your first pregnancy. But at the same time, it is better to consult with your doctor for advice on probable complications such as preterm labor.
Wrapping Up: Watch Out For The Other Signs Of Labor!
Now that you know how to speed up labor after losing the mucus plug, look out for different indicators that show you are in labor. The other signs include the sensation that the baby has dropped or lightening. While this might result in relatively more pressure inside the pelvic region, breathing might be easier.
When labor contractions start, some people have more back pain or cramping. You might feel more fatigued or less active or even experience like your joints are acting strange. Your doctor can help you understand whether your cervix has actually begun dilating – plus, there are chances of having lines on your butt.
Just relax. If you are more than 37 weeks pregnant, then you don’t need to contact your healthcare provider unless you are contracting regularly, the mucus is foul-smelling, heavy bleeding, or you think your water has also broken. Still worried? Just call anyway to be safe!
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