How To Speed Up Labor After Losing Mucus Plug In 12 Easy Ways

how to speed up labor after losing mucus plug

The mucus plug discharge is something that many women get excited about. It’s the first stage of early labor, and once losing your mucus plug happens, every moment of every day is spent waiting for active labor to begin in earnest so that you can have your baby. 

It leaves many impatient mothers wondering if there is anything they can do to speed up the process and induce labor.

This article discusses how to speed up labor after losing mucus plug. Labor begins at some point after this, but if it’s been days or weeks and nothing is happening in active labor, many pregnant women get a bit anxious to get the show on the road.

Losing your mucus plug

Your cervical mucus plug falls out in late pregnancy as the cervix begins to thin and dilate. The cervical canal needs this mucus plug to prevent bacteria and other harmful substances from the baby.

The mucus plug is a barrier, but when your cervical canal starts to thin and cervical dilation occurs, the mucus plug will dislodge and come out.

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What does it look like when you lose your mucus plug?

You don’t typically feel it as the cervix dilates slightly and resulting in losing your mucus plug. This leads many pregnant women to wonder how they’ll know if they have lost their mucus plug .

Most often, if you notice it, it will be when you wipe after using the toilet. You may see a thick and stringy vaginal discharge that can be slightly bloody. This is why losing your mucus plug is often called the “bloody show.”

This vaginal discharge can also be in your underwear. It’s thick and sticky, and you’ll know it’s not just a normal discharge when you see it. It can come out all at once or in parts.

Can the mucus plug fall out without you noticing?

The short answer here is yes. Sometimes the bloody show can occur over time, and you don’t notice it. The mucus plug can fall into the toilet, you can wipe it away without noticing it, and it can even come out during a cervical exam.

You can ask your healthcare provider in the late third trimester for an indication as to whether you have lost your mucus plug or if you have yet to lose your mucus plug.

If you lose your mucus plug, does it mean you’re in labor?

You may lose your mucus plug as the cervix softens and heads toward the birth process. When this occurs, you may think you must get to your hospital’s labor and delivery wing to have your baby.

Not so fast, mama.

Unless you are experiencing other labor symptoms, like regular contractions, or your amniotic sac has broken (your bag of water breaking), you are not in actual labor. 

However, if you experience severe cramping, vaginal bleeding, or less movement by the baby, you should go to the hospital or call your doctor to be checked out.

How to speed up labor after losing mucus plug

Without medical intervention, such as an actual medically induced labor, there’s no safe and surefire way to induce labor on your own. However, your healthcare provider may suggest things you can try to help you.

You should never try to force labor symptoms or start labor on your own unless you have spoken with your doctor first. Preterm labor carries many issues and dangers, and if there is a pregnancy complication, your healthcare provider may advise against trying.

The following are ways to jump-start labor, assuming that your healthcare provider has cleared you.

how to speed up labor after losing mucus plug

1. Sexual intercourse

Unless told not to engage in sex due to issues in the pregnancy, sex is perfectly fine to engage in right up until labor begins. Many people believe that semen can cause cervix softening, which can lead to actual labor. 

This natural process of making labor start is generally considered safe. And if it doesn’t work, you can still just have fun.

2. Nipple stimulation

Nipple stimulation produces the hormone oxytocin, which goes hand in hand with labor and can help the cervix dilate. You can do this yourself by gently manipulating your nipples, using a breast pump, or during sex with your partner.

3. Bouncing on a birthing ball

As the cervix prepares and labor approaches, the baby drops lower into the birth canal. 

In early pregnancy, your baby was much higher up in the uterus. Still, after the bloody discharge or transition phase of losing your mucus plug, you may be able to coax your baby further down by bouncing gently on a yoga ball, exercise ball, or birthing ball.

Be careful when using an exercise ball or yoga ball. Falling can result in injury.

4. Membrane stripping

Something that can help labor start for some women is a membrane sweep. A doctor does this. 

It can be painful, and there’s no proof that it works. It agitates the uterus, and as the cervix continues to prepare for delivery, a membrane sweep can sometimes jump-start the labor process.

Some doctors are perfectly willing to do this, but be sure to ask at your next appointment if you are interested. Some may wait until you’ve shown other signs of readiness for labor, while some may ask you to wait another several weeks until you are right on top of your due date. 

It all depends upon the doctor.

how to speed up labor after losing mucus plug

5. Walking

Getting anxious about meeting your baby is normal in the third trimester. As long as you have lost your mucus plug and you aren’t experiencing any complications like heavy bleeding or foul-smelling discharge that can indicate an infection, it is perfectly safe to stay active to help get labor going.

Walking is a great way to relieve stress, get some exercise, and put more pressure on the cervix so that it will continue to dilate. Don’t overdo it, and remember to stay hydrated.

6. Exercise or squats

Pregnancy doesn’t mean you can’t work out. 

During the first trimester, you may have been super tired and worn out, but sometime after the 28th week, when the third trimester starts, many women get a burst of energy and can’t wait to have their baby.

Light exercise, squats, and lunges are great ways to move your pregnancy along and towards the first symptom of active labor, which is either contractions of the uterus or, for others, their water breaking.

Just be sure you don’t work out too hard and stay hydrated.

7. Pineapple

Pineapple has properties that can help the cervix to dilate. However, eating pineapple to put yourself in labor is an old wives’ tale. You’d have to eat several whole pineapples in one sitting for any actual effects.

But if you like the taste of pineapple, it can’t hurt to try it!

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8. Red Raspberry Tea Leaf

Red raspberry tea leaf has properties that are said to soften the cervix and end the pregnancy in the form of labor and delivery of the baby. 

Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying this, and be very careful about what sort of tea you get, as some are unsafe to consume during pregnancy.

9. Dates

No, we’re not talking about a night out on the town, but the food. 

Eating several dates every day beginning about four weeks before your due date is rumored to cause the cervix to soften. While there is no proof that this is true, it doesn’t generally hurt to try.

10. Relax

Stress can make your cervix less likely to dilate. So try not to be stressed if you can help it. 

Take naps. Get long showers. Go for walks. Read books. Watch movies. 

Do the things that make you feel calm. This can help move your pregnancy along more than you realize.

11. Spicy food

Some claim that spicy food can throw you into labor because the spices agitate the body. If you regularly eat spicy food, this is okay, but if you are sensitive to these types of food, be careful.

Foods that irritate your stomach can also irritate your bowels. This means that you can end up with diarrhea, which can start contractions and make you uncomfortable and distressed.

how to speed up labor after losing mucus plug

12. Have fun and laugh

Feeling good and having a good laugh is good for everyone. Your stomach also tends to tense up when you laugh, which can even lead to labor! 

So put on your favorite comedy movie, listen to some stand-up comedy, or share a laugh or joke with your partner or family.

Going into labor after losing your mucus plug

Nothing that will make your pregnancy end and give you your baby before your baby is ready. Trying to move things toward labor too early is dangerous, and you’re sure to hear some questionable practices about how to get your cervix to dilate.

Just be patient if you can. Your baby will come when it is ready. Keep an eye out for your mucus plug loss, which will look different from regular discharge, and just allow time and your body to work together to move your pregnancy toward the finish line.

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