Spotting is quite common in early pregnancy and is used to describe any type of very light bleeding that there doesn’t appear to be a specific reason for. Sometimes spotting may occur following sex or over exertion or it may happen without any obvious reason.
Some pregnant women experience fake periods throughout their pregnancy (decidual bleeding), while others experience light bleeding for the first few months (when their periods were due) as their body adjusts to pregnancy.
Although spotting can just be your body’s normal adjustment to pregnancy and increasing blood flow in your body, you should always talk to a medical professional if it continues for more than a few hours or turns into heavy bleeding. Read more about bleeding in the first trimester.
Snot & Bloody Noses
Due to the extra blood in the body and pressure on the blood vessels (and all those other fun things going on!), pregnant women are a lot more likely to experience runny noses and bloody noses.
- Runny Noses – Are usually fine as long as the mucous is clear and runny. If it changes color or you feel stuffy, look at some natural remedies or see your doctor.
- Bloody Noses – Are very common, especially in the third trimester. Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to avoid them, other than clean them gently with a clean warm cloth and avoid hurting your nose in a way that may restart any bleeding.
During pregnancy, normal discharge increases and some women find it easier to wear a panty liner to accommodate it. Normal discharge can range from clear through to white or cream and at some times during your pregnancy can occur in quite large amounts. However this shouldn’t be confused with the bloody show which is more glob like and often contains traces of blood.
As long as your discharge doesn’t fall into any of the categories listed above under “abnormal discharge and bleeding”, then your discharge is probably a normal part of your pregnancy.
The Bloody Show
Experiencing a small bleed at the end of pregnancy (red toilet paper when you wipe, but no more) and/or having glob like clumps of yellowish jelly, often with streaks of blood, are both part of your “bloody show” as your cervix begins to soften and open. The blood is caused by the expanding cervical blood vessels, while the mucous plug is what seals the inside of the cervix.
The mucous plug is a jelly like mass of yellow cervical mucous and small amounts of blood that block the cervix to protect the baby from bacteria or other outside entities before labor begins. You may lose it in small pieces or in one large chunk. Some women do not lose the plug until they are in labor.
Although this is quite a common symptom that labor has started or is about to start, it is not a definite sign that baby is ready to arrive. You may want to alert your midwife/doctor to the fact you’ve experienced the bloody show, however don’t worry too much if they don’t react with too much excitement.1 | 2 | 3