When Does Baby Drop?

Unless you opt for a Caesarian section, there is no exact way to predict when your baby will make his or her first appearance. One thing is certain: you will know when the drop occurs because you will feel lighter. That’s why some people call the feeling lightening. You will notice the lightening because you’ll probably feel better. There will be less pressure on your stomach, and some of the side effects of pregnancy, like heartburn, should disappear.

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When Does Baby Drop?

The most exciting moment in birth is when you see your baby’s head for the first time. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say exactly when this miraculous event will occur. Generally speaking, if this is your first pregnancy, your baby is likely to drop (engage) between 34-36 weeks of pregnancy. However, others do not drop until the labor begins.

Despite what you might think, your baby may not emerge his/ her head first. The truth is that babies can assume a wide variety of positions in the womb. The size of the baby, the amount of room inside the pelvis and the position of the placenta are among the factors that can affect the baby’s position.

The baby is more likely to assume a different position if you’ve had children before. This occurs because multiple pregnancies can stretch the womb and the pelvis and give the baby more room to move around.

If you’ve felt the drop, ask your doctor or midwife to examine the bump. There’s a good chance that he or she might be able to feel your baby’s head and predict when birth will occur.

One Mom’s Experience

Here’s how Joy Williamson described the experience of when does baby drop and the run up to labor. Please note that Joy’s experiences are unique to her; your experience could be completely different.

“This is my first pregnancy, and I'm going into my 36th week and just dropped. I feel more pelvic pressure and sometimes sharp pains in my lower abdomen. This process of lightening is actually a little more uncomfortable, especially when I'm walking.

I just got checked today and my doctor said baby's heart beat is strong and felt where my baby’s head is, and he’s definitely dropped. She said the pains are normal because there’s some stretching going on down there.

Having the baby drop causes me to urinate more often, and the feeling of urination sometimes does not go away even right after I urinate. I also notice more wobblingin the way I walk due to the feeling of pressure on my pelvic area.”

What Can I Do to Make My Baby Drop?

When you get to know when does baby drop, not surprisingly, a lot of mothers will ask what they can do to speed up this process. The good news is that are a few things to do if you’re late into your pregnancy, usually around the 36th week. Some steps to take include:

What You Can Do

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Talk to your doctor first

Doing the wrong thing could hurt your baby or start premature labor. Make sure the doctor knows what you’re trying to do. Follow the doctor’s advice, and always ask her about any new steps you are taking.

Increase your physical activity

Taking several walks a day can move the baby and increase the pressure on the cervix to open. Be careful though; the walking can lead to false labor or Braxton-Hicks contractions. Make sure you take it easy and try to avoid strenuous activities.

Don’t sit cross-legged

Sitting cross-legged creates pressure that can push the baby back in. Instead, sit with the knees spread open and lean forward a lot. This moves the baby to the cervix, which can speed up the drop.

Use primrose oil

This is a natural remedy that’s been used by midwives for generations. One capsule inserted into the cervix can speed up the drop. Remember to consult your doctor before taking this step.

Use a birthing ball

Using a birthing ball can help move the baby to the pelvis and increase the blood flow to the baby. Birthing balls can also reduce back pain and eliminate the possibility of back labor. Many experts recommend that you use such a ball as much as you can during the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Do some squats

Squats can increase the size of the pelvic opening and move the baby closer to it. They also strengthen your legs and get your hips ready for labor. Be careful, though, and don’t start doing squats unless you have been exercising throughout pregnancy. Also ask your doctor if it is safe to do squats.

Get an ankle massage

It is hard to believe, but there are pressure points on the body that can cause contractions. Most doctors recommend doing this only if the baby is almost due or overdue. Chiropractic and back massages can also speed up labor.

Watch a video to learn more about when does baby drop and what to do: