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Home Parenting Pregnancy & Baby What is The Bloody Show?
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What is The Bloody Show?

what_is_the_bloody_show_-_CopyA Bloody Show is Actually Great News in Late Pregnancy

As the end of pregnancy approaches, mothers often begin to become nervous about what is yet to come. First time mothers in particular may begin to feel scared or anxious about the process of childbirth. While most mothers have questions about what is happening with their own bodies, their babies, and what is yet to come, there are some mothers that feel too embarrassed to ask these questions. One of the most common questions that mothers have is, what is "the bloody show"?

Maybe a Bit Scary But Great Things to Follow “Bloody Show”

As the body prepares to give birth, some of the things that happen can be a bit frightening. Bloody show is something that is usually experienced within the last month or month and a half of pregnancy for first time mothers. For mothers that have given birth before, it may not happen until the final days of pregnancy, if at all. The bloody show is actually part, or sometimes all, of the mucus plug that has been inside the cervix throughout the pregnancy. As the cervix changes in preparation for birth, the plug comes loose and begins to come out, most often in the bathroom. It may be somewhat clumpy, however it can also resemble a dark discharge. The important thing to keep in mind is that it should not be bright red like a fresh blood discharge. Should that be the case, the mother's care provider should be notified immediately. When bloody show is noticed, bring it to the attention of a care provider at the next appointment. However, bloody show is not cause for alarm. Many first time mothers are initially worried by the dark discharge, but it is perfectly normal. The exciting part is that this is a sign that the body is getting ready for birth and that there are changes happening for that purpose.

Mild cramping is another sign of the wonderful things to come. It is not uncommon for some degree of cramping to precede the bloody show. The cramping is usually a sign that there are some mild, warm-up contractions happening. While these do not indicate labor, they do prepare the body for the work of birth. This is another of the common symptoms that cause many first time mothers to feel alarmed. It can be quite scary to realize that the body is naturally preparing for an event that has yet to be experienced. Again, while these cramps should be brought to the attention of a doctor or midwife during the next visit, they are not cause for special office visit or emergency. These are perfectly normal parts of pregnancy and childbirth.

Mothers need to know that it is normal to have questions, such as what is “the bloody show”? They need to feel comfortable sharing their anxieties with their care providers and having these discussions about what is normal and what isn't. The bloody show, along with some cramping, is really quite exciting. It is a sign that the birth of a new baby is near.

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Shanti Bradley

Shanti Bradley

I grew up in Northern Indiana, near the University of Notre Dame.  I have a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Holy Cross College.  Aside from writing I am also a family health educator at Memorial Hospital of South Bend.  I work also as a Birth Doula and Lactation Specialist.  I love providing education and support for growing families.  I find it incredibly rewarding.

I have a husband and two children of my own.  They are three and five years old.  My three year old has Autism.  In addition to running around after them, I have a St. Bernard that I enjoy cuddling with.  I have also in the past worked as a nanny to three children, two of which were special needs.  Long before that, in what almost seems like another lifetime altogether, I worked as a restaurant general manager.