Bloody Show: What is it? When does it start?

You might have thought that you stumbled on some horror story, but no – this is also related to pregnancy! What is the bloody show, when is it and does it occur only once, how much blood will you lose, what is the color of the bloody show, when should you go to the hospital, and what should you do when it shows no signs of stopping? We’ve got the ticket for you, so sit back and enjoy this show.

What is the bloody show?

pregnant woman doctor explain

The bloody show is one type of vaginal discharge. When labor approaches, the cervix starts to dilate (open) and the amniotic sac containing the fetus peels off from the uterine lining. This leads to bleeding, and the blood mixes with the mucous membrane from the cervix. In most cases, the mucus plug is first lost and is then followed by the bloody show, which is in turn followed by contractions. In other words, the bloody show is like a ‘preview’ to the contractions.

When does the bloody show start? Around 39 weeks?


The bloody show usually can be seen during the period starting 3 days before your labor up to the moment before you go into labor. Some moms see it a week before labor starts, and there are instances in which the bloody show can continue for as long as 3 days. Whether the bloody show comes out all at one shot, or repeatedly over the period of a few days, depends on the individual.

About half of all pregnant women miss out on the bloody show or don’t have it at all – they just go straight into labor. The bloody show is a sign of the forthcoming labor, but even if you don’t have it, it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong, so don’t worry!

What is the color of the bloody show?

pregnant woman sleep

The bloody show is, in most cases, mucus-like vaginal discharge tinged with blood. They can be pinkish, grayish, or brownish color. It can be transparent, or come out looking like fresh blood, shocking the living daylights out of you. As for the amount, it varies as well – but many actually say it’s similar to their menstrual period.

Strange as it may seem, you actually do have to use sanitary napkins during your pregnancy! It’s recommended that you carry them around with you for the time being. Monitor the bleeding, the texture of the discharge, the color and amount, and remember that the bloody show can come in many forms! Monitor your discharge properly before coming to the conclusion that it’s the bloody show!

Should I go to the hospital once the bloody show makes an appearance?

pregnant woman bathroom

You might be thinking, “The bloody show is out, I have to go the hospital right away!” However, there is no need to go on. Even when the bloody show appears, you don’t have to go to the hospital until you start having regular contractions. The bloody show can carry on for days, so use a sanitary napkin if the need calls for it, and continue to monitor your own condition.

If you are in great pain or are bleeding profusely, or blood is coming out repeatedly without signs of ceasing, you should go to the hospital to get yourself checked. Also, if your waters break or you start having regular contractions, tarry no further and get yourself to the hospital right away!

Be on the lookout for the bloody show and don’t be afraid!

pregnant woman couple belly heart

Nothing is ever the same in different pregnancies. This goes for the bloody show as well. Remember that there are countless of possibilities as to how your bloody show can turn up looking like, and that it can appear numerous times. It can even start more than a week before your labor. What you need to do is stay calm and deal with it.

Your first encounter with the bloody show could be nothing short of watching a horror show, but instead of losing your rationality out of fear, take it one step at a time. As long as you don’t give in to fear, you’ll be able to deal with everything to the best of your abilities, regardless of how scary or bloody the experiences may be!