What does a show look like?
Our midwife Melissa says:
"During pregnancy, the cervix secretes mucus to protect against bacteria that may enter the uterus and cause an infection for the woman or baby. this is very helpful in pregnancy, however it needs to come away for the baby to be born. Up to two weeks before labour starts, this mucus comes away and may be passed through the vagina. Other times, a woman will not have a show until she is in labour. Having a show is a sign that there has been some change in the cervix (for example, softening, shortening and thinning out), but it is true that a show can happen up to two weeks before labour starts.
"A show is a clear glob of mucus, often streaked with blood which may be fresh and bright red, or old and brown. A show can also be a pinky or browny colour. It can come away as a solid mass and look gelatinous, or it can be stringy and come away in pieces. It might also resemble egg white. Please do let your midwife or obstetrician know if you have a show before 37 weeks of pregnancy. After 37 weeks, a show is not something so urgent that you would need to call your midwife to let him/her know, unless s/he has asked you to call. Please do call if your waters break, though."
This answer was written for Birth by midwife Melissa Maimann from Essential Birth Consulting.
Read more about the first signs of labour
Last revised: Friday, 11 May 2012
This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.