When you have reached the last trimester, people around you will start asking if your baby has dropped yet. Baby dropping or lightening is when the body prepares itself for the due date by moving the baby down to the lower half of the pelvic region.
Some women may not actually feel this happening. They may not experience it at the same time either - few may experience just 2 hours before the delivery and others may experience it weeks before the due date. Read on to learn more about this phase of pregnancy.
Baby drops in the later stages of pregnancy
In most cases, the baby drops after the 36th week of pregnancy, nearing the end of the pregnancy. It may happen just a few hours before going into labour for mothers who are going into labour for the second time around. For first-time moms, however, this may even happen a few weeks before the labour begins.
In few cases, the baby may not drop down fully or even move down at all before the delivery. You may not actually feel the baby dropping, but there are a few changes you would notice when it happens. Here are a few of the signs that indicate that your baby has dropped.
1. You can breathe easier
When your baby is positioned near the ribcage, it becomes difficult for you to breathe. After the baby drops down into the pelvis, it eases the pressure on your lungs and heart. This will make it easier for the heart to pump blood and thus, you will be able to breathe easier.
2. You can eat more
Now that your baby is positioned away from your stomach and is now lower down, you will find that you have more room in your tummy for food. Thus, you would be able to eat more after lightening.
3. Heartburn reduces
Your growing uterus has been pushing your stomach upwards thus causing heartburn and other digestion problems. Once the pressure on your upper abdomen reduces, your stomach would have more room and less pressure thus reducing sensations of heartburn.
4. False contractions
Once your baby has dropped, your body will start preparing itself for labour. This may involve false contractions like Braxton Hicks which do nothing but make the lining of your cervix thinner (for birth) and give you sensations similar to the actual delivery. Just consider this period as training for the real thing.
5. Bump looks different
Your bump will look different once the baby drops into the pelvis since the bump should now appear lower down near the lower abdomen rather than on the upper half of your body.
6. You walk differently
Since your baby would now be in the lower half of your body, the baby’s head would be putting a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor. This may cause a change in the way you walk. If you had been walking normally, you would now have a wobbly walk. If you had a funny walk already due to the weight, you might find it even harder to walk once the baby drops.