Discharge in pregnancy

A slight increase in discharge/fluid during pregnancy is normal, especially when the weather is hot. You may find that it is a mild-smelling, milky fluid, which is fine.

Any other discharge/fluid needs to be checked out by a midwife or doctor. Look out for the following:

  • any sign of blood, which may be red (like if you cut your finger) or dark brown (if it is old blood). This is not normal and if it happens, you should contact your midwife.
  • discharge that is green/brown or yellow in colour, is itchy and/or has an offensive smell. This may be a sign of infection so you should contact your midwife or doctor.
  • leaking or gushing clear or pinkish liquid from your vagina before 37 weeks. This may mean that your waters have broken early (preterm prelabour rupture of membranes - PPROM). Once your waters have broken, the baby has less protection against infection. There's also a possibility that you may need to prepare for a premature birth. Contact your midwife or hospital.

Read more about premature birth.

Leaking or gushing of clear or pinkish fluid after 37 weeks may mean that your waters have broken and that you may be about to go into labour. Most maternity units prefer for you to phone when you think this has happened so it’s good to note down the time your waters broke.

You may not necessarily need to go straight in to the maternity unit but you should call them for advice. If your waters are green or brown (or if there is blood) you need to be checked urgently, so call the maternity unit immediately.

Read more about waters breaking early (PPROM)

Read more

  • Swollen feet in pregnancy.

    My hands and feet are swollen

    Swelling or puffiness of your hands and feet is common in late pregnancy.

  • Itchy hands in pregnancy

    I itch all over

    Some itching around the stomach is normal as your skin is stretching around your growing baby.

  • My baby does not seem to be getting any bigger

    My baby does not seem to be getting bigger

    A growing bump is the sign of a growing baby. Your midwife should start measuring your growing baby at antenatal appointments from 24 weeks to make sure they are growing at the right rate for your stage of pregnancy.

  • My midwife isn't listening

    My midwife isn't listening

    If you have concerns or worries and your midwife is not listening to you or taking your concerns seriously, you can ask to see another member of the team, or go further if necessary.

  • I just think something is wrong

    I just think something is wrong

    If you feel that something is wrong, or if you are worried about the baby, call your midwife or doctor to talk about it.

  • Pregnant woman on the toilet.

    Urinating is painful

    If you find that you have a painful or burning sensation when you urinate, you are likely to have a urinary tract infection (UTI).


  1. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J, Mayes’ midwifery, thirteenth editionEdinburgh, Bailliere Tindall Elsevier, 2012


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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2014. Next review date April 1st, 2017.

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  • By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Oct 2016 - 11:45

    Hi there.
    You need to go into your local hospital as soon as possible. Once your waters have broken, you and your baby are at an increased risk of infection. As a matter of urgency, please take yourself, with your overnight bag and pregnancy notes, to your local labour ward and let the midwifery team know what date and time your waters broke. Take care of yourself.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 Oct 2016 - 07:58

    I'm 41 weeks and my water has broken BT I have no pains yet its been three days ago now, I need your advice plz

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