Figure 3-2. Ballotement.
b. Abdominal Changes. This corresponds to changes that occur in the uterus,
as the uterus grows the abdomen gets larger. Abdominal enlargement alone is not a
sign of pregnancy. Enlargement may be due to uterine or ovarian tumors, or edema.
Striae gravidarum may also be classified as a probable sign of pregnancy by the
c. Cervical Changes.
(1) Goodell's sign. The cervix is normally firm like the cartilage at the end of
the nose. The Goodell's sign is when there is marked softening of the cervix. This is
present at 6 weeks of pregnancy.
(2) Formation of a mucous plug. This is due to hyperplasia of the cervical
glands as a result of increased hormones. It serves to seal the cervix of the pregnant
uterus and to protect it from contamination by bacteria in the vagina (see figure 3-3).
The mucous is expelled at the end of pregnancy near or at the onset of labor.
Figure 3-3. Cervix with mucous plug.