You’re approaching the end of your pregnancy and you’re wondering how to tell if your baby is engaged in your pelvis.
Your baby drops, or engages, as your body gets ready to give birth. In other words, your baby drops deeper into the pelvis and gets ready to get into the birth canal when your labor starts. It’s an exciting stage simply because it indicates that your body’s doing what it’s supposed to do and that you’ll soon be cuddling your little angel in your arms.
While your doctor will certainly tell you when your child has dropped, being able to identify the signs by yourself can help you understand what’s going on in your body while it prepares for labor. While the symptoms aren’t entirely universal, the following subtle body changes all indicate that you’re getting closer and closer to welcoming your tot at long last.
When your baby drops, it physically descends into the pelvis. This decreases pressure on your lungs, which obviously makes breathing easier than it was for months previously.
Pain or “zings” in your pelvic region is an unusual sign of your baby descending. The pain occurs due to the head of the baby putting pressure on lots of ligaments in the pelvis. You might feel pain when you move in a certain manner. Or the pain may come apparently without reason. This occurs as the baby settles in its new position.
Remember, the minor twinges of pelvic pain may be indicative of your baby descending. But if you experience regular, persistent pain, consult your doctor. Also see your doctor if you experience any other symptoms such as bleeding, fever, or fluid loss.
Pelvic Pressure Pain
As your baby descends into your pelvic, there may be increased pressure in this region. This may cause you to feel like you’re waddling when you walk.
When your baby engages, your pregnancy bump might look like it’s lying lower.
When your baby has engaged, its head will physically increase pressure on your cervix, which will help it dilate and thin out to start labor. Your cervix will thin by removing the mucus plug which blocked the cervical opening.
In the last few weeks of pregnancy, you may notice more discharge that gushes out like real mucus. Or, it could simply be a heavier stream of discharge. Pregnancy isn’t always beautiful, just so you know!
Frequent Urge to Urinate
Is your baby growing one pound a week and its head is lower on the bladder? This situation makes you go to the bathroom every 10 seconds (too much?). Your pregnancy is coming to an end.
You may experience less acid reflux and heartburn as your baby drops lower into the pelvis. While not all women will experience this, some suddenly notice a relief when their child has engaged.
What Else Should You Do if Your Labor is Near?
While your baby dropping is a sign that your body is preparing for delivery, it doesn’t really tell when exactly your labor will begin. And if you experience the feeling that your child is “pushing down” prior to week 37 or increased pelvic pressure, call your doctor so they can rule out preterm labor.