If you have lost your mucus plug, congratulations labor could be near! Losing your mucus plug means that your body is beginning to gear up for labor and you will be meeting your baby soon!
Keep in mind though, that losing your mucus plug doesn’t necessarily mean that you are in labor, however it is an indication that labor could be near.
The mucus plug can regenerate, and especially in new moms losing the mucus plug could still mean that labor is a week or two away. Remember that every body is different!
Related Post: Absolute Signs That Labor Is 24-48 Hours Away
What Is The Mucus Plug?
The name sounds…interesting, so what exactly is the mucus plug? The mucus plug is mucus in the cervix the develops during very early pregnancy.
The mucus plug is there as a barrier between the cervix and outside world. This barrier protects your baby and womb from infection.
Losing The Mucus Plug
As your cervix begins to dilate and open, the mucus plug discharges into the vagina. This can happen while you are using the bathroom or carrying on with daily life.
You may lose your mucus plug in pieces or all at once. It really depends on your body.
What It Looks Like
The mucus plug is a sticky, jelly like substance that is white-ish in color. Compared to normal vaginal discharge, it is a significant amount more and stickier. If you can picture egg white cervical mucus, multiplied by about 10!
A lot of times, there will be a little bit of blood associated with losing your mucus plug. Don’t let that concern you. If there is a significant amount of blood, get seen immediately.
When It Happens
You start to lose your mucus plug as the cervix begins to dilate and efface. Remember, this doesn’t mean that you are actively in labor but rather a sign that it is near!
You can lose your mucus plug anywhere from a few weeks before labor starts until you are actually in labor.
What To Do When You Lose Your Mucus Plug
After you lose your mucus plug, you are likely going to be really excited and anxious. You can do many things like I will list below to speed up the process.
That being said, you are allowed to just relax, take a bath and just hang out.
How To Speed Up Labor After Losing Your Mucus Plug
If you are not having signs of labor, or even if you are and want to get a move on, these are ways to encourage labor to begin!
Remember though, do not exhaust yourself trying to go into labor. You need to have energy and stamina for once you are in labor.
Sex! Do I have your attention?! I know that sex may be like the last thing you want to do, but doing the deed is a great way to jumpstart labor. Someone wise once told me that what makes a baby also gets the baby out and it is so true! T
The key is for BOTH people to reach an orgasm. This is because the oxytocin released in the woman’s body helps to stimulate labor (fun fact, Pitocin is synthetic oxytocin). Semen contains prostaglandins which encourage the cervix to dilate and efface.
Related Post: The 6 Best Sex Positions to Induce Labor
This is great to do during sex, by asking your partner to help you out. You can also use a hand or electric pump on a lower setting to stimulate your nipples.
Just like sex, nipple stimulation helps your body to release the hormone oxytocin. Be sure not to be too aggressive with nipple stimulation.
Exercises To Induce Labor
Did you say extra fries? Oh, you said exercise. I’m sure a basket of fries would be a nice treat right about now, but exercise will help to move your baby down into the birth canal.
- Walking: Walking is a great low impact exercise to get labor going. Walking in general is great, but the motion of walking encourages baby to drop down into the pelvis.
- Squats: Squats are great at encouraging labor. Turn our legs out slightly and do more of a sumo squat. If you can, pause at the bottom and sway back and forth to help open up the pelvis.
- Curb Walking: Curb walking is a great way to get your baby moved down into an optimal position for labor and speed things along. Place one foot up on the curb and begin walking. Your walk will feel awkward, but it helps to move baby down!
- Lunges: Lunges are a great way to get your baby to move lower down into the pelvis. Place your foot on a stair or sturdy stool, then begin lunging forward.
- Pelvic Tilts: Get on your hands and knees. Slowly tuck in your pelvis and the move it back out. If you are familiar with the cat/cow position this is exactly what you are doing.
Sit On A Birth Ball
Any regular exercise ball will do for this! Gently bouncing, rolling/circling your hips on the ball helps to open your pelvis and allow the baby to deeply engage into the pelvis.
I also find that because the ball is squishy, it is comfortable to sit on.
If you are out of alignment, your body may wait to go into labor. If you are having prodromal labor, where consistent contractions start for a good bit and then stop you may consider being adjusted.
The baby’s head needs to be pushing down on the cervix and engaged in the pelvis. If you are out of alignment, all of those things may not be happening.
A quick adjustment may be all you need to speed up the labor process.
Prenatal massages are where it’s at! I think every pregnant mama deserves one. During mine, I was so relaxed I almost fell asleep!
Sometimes we are stressed about actually going into labor, when it will happen, how long labor will be etc. When we are under stress, our bodies can hold off going into labor. This is because even though there may not be a risk to our babies, our maternal instinct knows that there is a factor of stress so labor is delayed.
Related Post: Prenatal Massage During Pregnancy: Is It Safe And Can It Induce Labor?
Acupuncture is where small needles are placed in different locations all over the body. These locations are called acupressure points and can help the body release hormones that cause labor to begin.
Acupuncture helps to work with the body to help move the body into a place where labor can begin.
Eat Foods That Encourage Labor
There are certain foods that are said to encourage labor. All of the foods I have listed are safe to consume unless you have an allergy to them.
There are some herbs and other substances that are controversial and not considered safe by midwives and doctors alike.
Please remember to consult your physician or midwife if you have questions regarding other methods to encourage labor.
- Pineapple – Did you know that pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain that may help to allow dilation of the cervix? Yep! Be cautious when consuming pineapple because too much can cause diarrhea and the acid can irritate your mouth and esophagus.
- Dates – Some midwives suggest that consuming a few dates a day starting at 36 weeks can encourage the production of prostaglandins which help to ripen the cervix.
- Spicy Food – Spicy food can cause some irritation in the digestive tract. This irritation causes spasms in the intestines which irritate the uterus causing contractions. Be careful with spicy food, because it can give you bad heartburn!
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea – Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is great for uterine health in general. This is because the tea helps to strengthen uterine muscles and encourage blood flow to the uterus. It is recommended to start drinking this tea regularly at 36-37 weeks.
- Eggplant – Much like spicy foods, cooked eggplant can irritate the digestive tract causing spasms in the intestines irritating the uterus.
- Papaya – Like pineapple, papaya contains the enzyme bromelain.
Clary Sage Oil
I used clary sage oil to help encourage labor! I like to apply to the inside of my wrists and ankles.
Clary sage is said to help the production of the hormone oxytocin when it is inhaled. Adding this to your wrists, ankles and diffuser is great for encouraging labor.
Get A Pedicure
Getting a pedicure will definitely help you relax. There are some pressure points in the feet and ankles that can help to encourage labor!
A pedicure will also help you relax and take your mind off of speeding up the labor process. Pedicures are always a must for me in my last few days pregnant!
Relax And Enjoy The Last Few Moments of Pregnancy
I know that you are probably uncomfortable, but if you are like me you will miss your bump! Enjoy those last few minutes of pregnancy and soak them in!
Consider doing a date day/night with your significant other. Maybe order in some food, or have a quiet dinner somewhere.
I know it is cliché to say, but these moments will probably be your last amount of alone time for a while!
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Speed Up Labor After Losing Your Mucus Plug
I know that this is such an exciting time and you might be filled to the brim with questions. Below are some of the most popular questions and answers!
Does losing my mucus plug mean I am in labor?
No, losing your mucus plug does not mean that you are in labor.
If you are actively having timeable contractions and lose your mucus plug, then you are probably in labor. But sometimes, you can lose your mucus plug even if you aren’t in labor.
Is it true that the mucus plug can regenerate?
Yes, the mucus plug can regenerate. Especially if you are just losing small amounts of it at a time.
The mucus plug’s job is to keep out infection, so if you are only losing small bits at a time or don’t go into labor after losing your mucus plug the body will naturally make a new one.
Can I lose my mucus plug without knowing?
Yes you can, especially if you aren’t paying much attention or if you lose it a little bit at a time!
Stay calm and breath mama! You will be meeting your sweet baby very soon!
What was losing your mucus plug like for you? How soon did labor start after? Let me know in the comments below!