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Michele Hakakha, MD

Signs Of Labor: The Bloody Show

What's the bloody show? A sign it's just about curtain time! Learn what it is, when it appears and what it looks like.

It may sound like the latest Quentin Tarantino movie, but bloody show is really just nature’s way of telling you labor’s about to begin.

During your pregnancy, your cervix stands guard to your uterus by holding in a thick plug of mucus. This prevents harmful bacteria from reaching your uterus—sort of like a cork. When your cervix starts to thin and relax to get ready for baby’s trip down the birth canal, this plug starts to liquefy. Thanks to some of the surrounding blood vessels that burst, the mucus plug can often appear reddish in color, though it’s sometimes pinkish or even clear.

Bloody show can appear within minutes or up to days before labor starts. But don’t worry if you never see the show—not every woman will notice its appearance. Things will get a lot more obvious when those labor contractions kick in!

Plus, more from The Bump:

Difference between the mucus plug and your water breaking?

Tearing during delivery?

What is the mucus plug?