Baby dropping refers to a medical term called lightening. Lightening is one of the major signs that occurs when labor is approaching. According to the American Pregnancy Association, lightening suggests that the mother is about to go to labor. It commonly occurs several weeks or even few hours before you begin to experience labor. Baby dropping happens when the baby’s head lowers into your pelvis. The baby then becomes engaged between within the pubic bones.
In some circumstances, your due date might be around the corner and lightening is yet to occur. According to health experts, this is a normal occurrence because some babies will only drop after labor has begun. However, there are some exercises you could do to encourage your baby to drop deeper into the pelvis. The exercises will also help you to prepare for labor and delivery.
Tips on how to get your baby to drop
- Seek advice from a healthcare giver
It is advisable to seek advice from a healthcare provider before engaging in any activity that is meant to enhance baby dropping. The health expert will discuss with you the safest techniques to use.
- Daily walks
You could also engage yourself in regular walks to help place your baby’s weight on the cervix. The baby’s weight will cause the cervix to dilate leading to contractions that will assist lower the baby to the pelvis area. Braxton-Hicks contractions that are experienced in the later stages of pregnancy help push the baby towards the pelvis area.
- Practice sitting with spread knees
Spreading your knees while seated while leaning your body forward may help the belly to hang down. Sitting in this position will focus the baby’s weight on the cervix causing it to dilate. Avoid sitting with crossed legs as this could halt the lightening process.
- Sexual intercourse
According to experts, sexual intercourse could dilate the cervix. Sexual intercourse could also aid the progress of labor. The male sperms produce results that are similar to prostaglandins. The presence of the prostaglandin hormones helps the thinning process of the cervix. Female orgasms during sexual intercourse may also trigger contractions of the uterine wall. However, individuals who have been prescribed a pelvic rest or those who have lost the mucus plug should not engage in sexual intercourse.
- Apply the evening primrose oil
According to midwives, primrose oil could help ripen the cervix. You can insert one capsule of primrose oil before bed to prepare the cervix for labor. Primrose oil can be applied directly to the cervix. You can also take it through the oral route. Primrose oil should be used under a health-care giver’s supervision.
- Avoid any home labor induction technique until lightening
How to make your baby move using exercises and physical activities
These exercises may encourage your baby to drop. They may also prepare your body for delivery. However, you should not attempt these exercises if the baby lies in breach position. A baby in breach position cannot get into a head down position.
Daily walks are the best exercise for pregnant women, especially in the later trimesters. Walking opens the hips and helps relax the pelvic muscles which may encourage a baby drop in the final weeks of pregnancy. According to health experts, walking is a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. You should start slowly and at a comfortable pace.
Squatting exercises may help expand the pelvic opening. Through gravity, squats assist the baby descend into the pelvis area. Squatting strengthens the legs and opens the hips in readiness for labor. Individuals who have not been exercising throughout their pregnancy should use caution when performing squats during the third trimester. Squats can be performed against a wall for support and balance. You could also squat while seated on a birthing ball.
- Birthing ball
Using a birthing ball in the last stages of pregnancy has a lot of advantages. A birthing ball will help lower the baby into the pelvis. It also helps relieve pressure while also increasing blood supply to the baby. The Arizona Doulas Organization and Birth Education Association encourage pregnant mothers to be sitting on a birthing ball on a regular basis during the last six weeks of their pregnancy. Besides supporting a baby drop, birthing balls help rotate the baby into the most favorable position for delivery. It also lowers the chances of experiencing a painful back labor.
- Pelvic tilts
You should perform pelvic tilts throughout your pregnancy if possible. Pelvic tilts also known as pelvic rocking has been found to encourage a baby drop. Pelvic tilts help strengthen and stretch the core muscles that are involved in labor. It also helps relieve pain experienced in the lower back which is common during the second and third trimester. You can perform pelvic tilts by getting on your hands and knees. You should place your hands directly below your shoulders. Tilt your pelvis forward and relax the lower back. Bring back the pelvis to a neutral position then repeat the process for about three minutes.
Signs you may notice when your baby drops before labor
- Easy breathing
When a baby drop occurs, the baby physically drops into the pelvis. As a result, there will be less pressure exerted on your diaphragm. You will realize that you can exhale and inhale air in a much easier manner.
- You may feel a lot of pressure
When a baby drop occurs, you will notice an increase in pressure around your pelvic region.
- There will be an increase in discharge
When lightening occurs, the head of the baby will apply a lot of pressure against the cervix. As a result, the cervix will dilate and open to begin labor. The thinning of the cervix occurs by removing the mucus plug that was blocking the cervix opening. There will be an increase in discharge during the last weeks of your pregnancy due to the removal of the mucus from the cervix opening.
- You may experience pelvic pain
You may feel pain in your pelvic pain as an indication that your baby is dropping. The pelvic pain occurs as a result of the baby’s head putting pressure on the ligaments found in the ligaments. The pain may worsen when you try moving in a certain way. Sometimes the pain might occur seemingly out of nowhere.
It is not easy to predict when your baby will drop. Baby dropping is different for every pregnant woman. You can consult your healthcare giver on what to expect during the late stages of the third trimester.
About The Author
Hi! I’m Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at SarahsLovelyFamily.com. I’d love to share my discoveries with you too!