When is my baby likely to drop?

When is my baby likely to drop?

As your body prepares for labor, your baby will "drop," or descend into your pelvis, in a process called lightening. It's normal to feel lightening up to a month before your due date, especially if this is your first baby, but it's impossible to predict exactly when this will happen because each pregnancy is unique.

You'll probably be able to tell when your baby has dropped because some pregnancy complaints may get worse while others improve. Here are some signs that your baby has dropped into your pelvis:

  • You need to urinate even more often than before.
  • You feel pressure deep in your pelvis that may cause increasing discomfort when you walk. (You may even begin to waddle a bit.)
  • You can eat a little more without feeling uncomfortably full now that there's less pressure on your stomach.
  • Your breathing feels easier.
  • You may get relief from any heartburn you've been experiencing.

Although your baby dropping indicates that your body is getting ready for delivery, it doesn't predict when labor will start. And if you feel an increase in pelvic pressure or the sensation that your baby is "pushing down" before 37 weeks, call your healthcare provider so she can make sure you aren't in preterm labor.

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