REAL LIFE STORY – CHLOE AND THE PREGNANCY JELLY PLUG
Today's story is about Chloe and the jelly plug – also known as the cervical mucus plug and not to be confused with children's party food.
Chloe often provided the rest of the prenatal exercise class with entertainment and this night was no exception. Before she had even put her bag down or changed into her workout clothes she announced – with a look of horror on her face – "we need to talk, what is this about a jelly plug!"
There is so much new information to take in when you find out you are pregnant, often little details like the cervical mucus plug get lost. Suddenly somewhere along the path towards birth you not only hear about the jelly plug, you find out you have one. Then it can be a bit, what? where? when? as it was for Chloe.
So let's just cover the jelly basics and you'll see it really is quite a useful and certainly not offensive little plug.
The cervical mucus plug or jelly plug is a small blob of cloudy or clear, thick, sticky mucus, a bit like snot (just being real). It forms to fill and seal the cervical canal (if this really is all new to you the cervix is like the doorway from the uterus where the baby is growing to the vaginal passage that leads to the outside world).
This mucus is like your bubs own private security guard. It creates a physical barrier and contains antimicrobial agents to protect your growing bub from the invasion of bacteria. Not bad for a big blob of snot, right!
The reason Chloe was told about her jelly plug, all be it late in pregnancy when she thought she had all the pregnancy information covered, is because she may see it.
As labour approaches the cervix dilates to prepare for the baby to pass through on route to meet you. Obviously the jelly plug is no longer needed, so it goes off duty and is um… released. The mucus may come out as a lump or more of an increased discharge over several days. It may also have a tinge of brown, pink or red as some blood is released from the uterus. This is what gave rise to that other unfortunate term "bloody show".
If you do happen to get familiar with your jelly plug and notice it is bright red, tinged a greenish yellow or smells yucky, this is important information to share with your doctor. And remember, whilst the ousting of the jelly plug does not necessarily mean labour is about to begin, it does signify another step nearer to your baby's arrival.