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As your body starts to prepare for labor, you may pass something called a "bloody show." This blood-tinged discharge is usually a sign that labor will start within a day, although this is not always the case.

What Is a Bloody Show?

What's often referred to as "bloody show" is simply a mucus discharge that is tinged pink or brown with blood. The bloody show is a sign of prelabor, meaning that labor is getting close. Passing a bloody show is a sign that your cervix is dilating and your body is starting to prepare for labor.
As the cervix thins and dilates to prepare for a baby's passage through the birth canal, small blood vessels within the cervix frequently rupture. This tints the mucus pink or streaks it with blood.
Bloody show can be one of the signs that labor is close. This "show" usually means labor will start within 24 hours, but it could still be up to several days away.
You can learn more about topics related to late pregnancy by clicking on any of the following links:
  • Prelabor Signs to learn about other symptoms (besides bloody show) that
    mean labor is close.
  • Signs of Labor to learn more about the signs that may indicate the beginning of true labor.
  • False Labor to learn about the differences between false labor contractions and real labor contractions.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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