Are you feeling anxious about your baby’s arrival and wondering what to look for to know labor is on the way? Unfortunately, even though women deliver healthy babies every single day, there is still a lot of misinformation that is floating around about labor.
For example, have you heard your baby drops at 32 weeks? If so, then you have been misinformed. This is too early for your baby to drop. If you are reading this article because you suspect this has happened, you need to contact your healthcare provider as it may mean you are experiencing preterm labor. However, if you just want to know what this “dropping” is, then read on!
What Does Baby Dropping Mean?
This is one of those terms that is hard to explain if you have not been pregnant before. First, this experience is technically called “lightening.” According to Healthline, “It happens when the baby's head literally ‘drops’ lower into your pelvis, becoming engaged within your pubic bones. This starts baby’s descent down and out into the world.”
As your baby begins to drop, this means your little one is moving closer to exiting the womb. During labor, you will hear your doctor discuss the station. “The station” is the location of your baby’s head in relation to your pelvis. It ranges from -5 (baby has not begun the decent) to +5 (your baby’s head has emerged).
Sign #1 – The Urge to Pee Frequently
One of the signs that your baby has dropped is the urge to pee increases. If you are noticing you have to pee more often, this may be because this event has occurred. This is because your baby’s new position may be closer to your bladder. This is why pregnant women rush to the restroom often during the final days of pregnancy.
Sign #2 – Unusual Pelvic Pain
Another common sign that the baby has dropped is, unfortunately, pelvic pain. This happens because your baby’s head is now putting pressure on your pelvis and the ligaments. Sometimes these pains are sudden and sharp. Some pregnant women experience more pelvic pain when they walk or move around.
Sign #3 – It Feels Easier to Breathe
You may also notice that it feels easier to breathe when your baby drops. This is because your baby has moved lower and farther away from your rib cage and diaphragm. This really makes a difference to pregnant ladies who were carrying their babies high.
Signs Your Baby Has Dropped
Some women believe their belly looks different after their baby drops. In fact, you may hear people suggesting it “looks” like your baby has dropped. They are referring to the look of your stomach.
Whether or not you can actually see this occur is unknown, but many women believe it is possible. Other women claim they feel like they can eat more and there are less issues with heartburn.
When Does This Occur?
Generally, the lightening occurs in the last few weeks of pregnancy for first time moms. However, this does not mean you should feel your baby drop at 32 weeks. If you think your baby has dropped before you have reached 37 weeks or closer to full term, then you must alert your healthcare provider at once.
For many veteran moms, you may not experience the baby dropping until you go into labor. This is because your body has already been stretched from a baby previously. Again, it varies from one mom to the next, so do not worry if it does not occur until you are in labor.
More Signs Labor is Near
At the end of your pregnancy, you are most likely anxious about knowing the impending signs of labor. You want to be prepared, so you try to plan ahead. Well, as much as you try to plan, babies have a way of entering the world on their own time. However, there are some clear signs that labor is near.
For example, in addition to your baby dropping, you may notice an increase in discharge. Another clear sign labor is near is what we refer to as the “bloody show.” This is when you lose the mucous plug as the baby begins to descend. Finally, if your water breaks, it is go time. If you aren’t already feeling contractions, you will be soon. Pack your bags and head to the hospital.
To Wrap Up…
f you notice a change to how often you urinate, how your pelvis feels, or how you breathe, there is a possibility that your baby has dropped. This typically occurs in the final weeks of pregnancy as your baby prepares to move down the pelvic cavity. If you believe this has happened before 37 weeks, contact your doctor immediately to avoid pre-term labor.