When Does the Baby Drop and How to Know
When the body starts preparing for labor, the baby drops into the pelvis. The baby wants to attain the optimal situation inside the uterus to pass through the birthing canal. While it is impossible to predict when the baby will be born, ‘baby dropping’ into the pelvis is often considered as an indication that you are nearing labor.
Baby dropping, also called lightening, happens between the 34th and 36th week of pregnancy. But in some women, the baby may get into the position just a few hours before the onset of labor. Baby dropping is more common in the first pregnancy than the subsequent ones. If you feel that your baby has dropped, then check with your doctor about the situation of the baby.
How Does a Baby’s Position Progress towards Labor?
Generally, babies assume different situations inside the womb, but towards the due date they settle down into the pelvis in a head-down position.
A baby’s movement into the pelvis is described based on stations, which is a standard measurement in gynaecology. The stations at which the baby’s head is positioned range from -3 to +3.
• The 0 station indicates that the baby is fully engaged, with the head at the bottom of the pelvis.
• The highest station is -3, which indicates that the baby is not engaged in the pelvis or its head is above the pelvis.
• +3 indicates that the baby is right into the birthing canal, with the head starting to emerge from the birthing canal.
What Are The Signs Of Baby Dropping During Pregnancy?
• Backache: Extra pressure on the lower back muscles causes the pain.
• Increased appetite: With the baby dropping down, the pressure on the stomach and heartburn ease and your appetite increases.
• Visible change in the abdomen: You can notice your belly hanging lower than it did before.
• Breathing gets easier: As the baby eases pressure on the diaphragm, breathing gets easier.
• Pressure on the pelvis: You can feel an enlarged pressure and pain in the pelvis as the baby drops lower.
• Frequent urination: With the baby’s head exerting pressure on the bladder, the urge for urination increases.
• Hemorrhoids: They are caused due to the pressure applied by the baby’s head on the pelvic and rectal nerves.