Baby dropping or descending isn’t exactly a sign of labour; it is actually indicating that your body is getting ready for the same. It is sometimes also referred to as “lightening” as you might feel like you are carrying less weight since your baby moves down into your pelvis. Literally, the head of your baby drops lower into your pelvis and becomes engaged with your pubic bones.
Hence, your baby is taking a step further to descent to the real world. As you approach your due date, your doctor will check whether your baby is engaged and also check as to how low the baby is.
Every pregnancy is different, so in some pregnancies, lightening can start as early as a few weeks before labor actually starts and in some cases, it can be just before few hours before the labor. It is almost impossible to predict when your baby drops, usually during the first pregnancy, it could happen a few weeks before the labor begins, maybe at around 37 weeks.
There would be some noticeable physical changes in your body after lightening. The shape of your bump will change and some symptoms might get better, whereas some might get worse. Your baby will be taking up more room around the pelvis area and also putting more pressure around the rectum and bladder area. You might have to pee more often now and also suffer from constipation and stress incontinence. You also might find it difficult to walk very far and sometimes even waddle a bit.
Since your baby has dropped and the head will be physically pressing down more on your cervix, gradually the cervix will thin out by ridding itself of the mucus plug and then you might notice some increased discharge coming out in chunks. On the other hand, there will be less pressure on your stomach and you will also be able to eat more without feeling too uncomfortable. If you are suffering from heartburn, you will also get some relief from that, and breathing also feels easier now.
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