By the time you reach the end of the third trimester, you are more than ready to give birth. As your body expands to accommodate your growing baby, everything feels uncomfortable. Sleepless nights, back pain, heartburn – the last few weeks of pregnancy can be a battle.
So, with your due date approaching, you can look for signs to indicate your delivery is around the corner. One of the first signs that indicate your body is getting ready to give birth is when your baby ‘drops’.
Is there a fixed time when the baby moves down towards the pelvis? No.
All pregnant women have different experiences. Their bodies behave differently. So, there is no formula to predict when will the baby drop, but it happens towards the end of the pregnancy.
What week does the baby drop? The scientific term for the baby dropping is ‘lightening’. If it is your first pregnancy, your baby may drop two to four weeks before labor time. In the case of experienced mothers, ‘lightening’ occurs just before labor.
Why Do Babies ‘Drop’?
As your baby makes the arduous journey towards the world outside, your body will undergo changes to facilitate her exit from your womb and arrival in the world. The first step for your baby towards exit is when she moves lower towards the pelvis. It is her way of preparing to take birth! The process stretches the pelvic muscle, which makes the birthing process easier.
Signs To Indicate When Does Baby Drop:
How will you know that your baby has dropped? There are some signs that will tell you that your baby has started her downward journey. If you attune to your body, you might notice the following signs:
1. Frequent Urination:
As your baby moves downwards, she will exert more pressure on your bladder and cause frequent urination. However, many pregnant women suffer from Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), which too causes frequent urination (1).
2. Pressure In Pelvis:
As your baby settles near the pelvis, you’ll feel an uncomfortable pressure down there. The feeling will get worse when you walk. As your delivery approaches, you may begin to waddle like a duck!
3. Better Appetite:
All through the pregnancy, you may have suffered from bouts of heartburn. It happens as the uterus and stomach vie for more space. According to popular belief, extreme heartburn means your newborn will be hairy. Interestingly, studies indicate that there might be a grain of truth behind this claim (2).
But when your baby drops, your stomach finally gets more space. You can finally say bye to heartburn and eat more without feeling too full.
4. Easier Breathing:
With your baby moving down, your lungs will get more ‘breathing’ space! So, you need not be gasping for breath, anymore!
5. Change In Abdomen:
If you notice closely, you will see that your abdomen looks different once your baby ‘drops’. Your baby bump will be lower. Even if you do not notice it, people around you will definitely comment on it!
6. Appearance Of Hemorrhoids:
This is the most unpleasant outcome of your baby dropping! Many women experience constipation or/and hemorrhoids during their final weeks of pregnancy. Simply add more fiber to your diet and drink more water to keep hemorrhoids at bay (3).
What Should You Do?
If you think that your baby has dropped, tell your doctor. He will examine you and confirm the development. If you see signs that indicate ‘lightening’ before 30 weeks of pregnancy, do tell your health care provider. If he thinks that you are at a risk of giving birth prematurely, he might suggest certain preventive measures, like bed rest.
But if everything is on track, you need to start preparing for labor and birth. Get your hospital bag in place. You do not want to be caught by surprise, do you?
Hope you liked our post on when does the baby drop. When did your baby ‘drop’? Did you experience any of the above-mentioned signs? Share your experience with us!