During pregnancy, by a due date, the bump of a pregnant woman will appear lower. The condition is referred to as "dropping". It usually means your baby has dropped into the birth canal. Many women don't know much about when they should expect their belly to drop and if they should do something when their belly doesn't drop by their estimated due date. Keep reading to know how to tell if baby has dropped already or not.
10 Signs That the Baby Has Dropped
You will have to look for physical and even emotional signs to tell if baby has dropped already. Here's more about it.
1. The Belly Bump Will Be Lower.
One obvious way to tell if your baby has dropped already is to look at your belly bump. If it looks lower, that is usually a sign of baby dropping. The distance between your uterus and your breasts will increase as well. Sometimes, it is difficult for a pregnant woman to notice these physical changes, so you may want to ask your partner to point out any changes in the position of your bump.
2. Your Breathing Will Be Easy.
To know how to tell if baby has dropped, you will have to pay attention to your breathing pattern. Are you feeling it easier to breathe as compared to breathing during your third trimester? Usually, you will feel much easier, which is mainly because your baby has dropped already and there is no pressure on your lungs.
3. You Will Feel Better When Eating.
After your baby drops, you will find it easier to eat. It will be significantly different from how you feel during your third trimester when it is almost impossible to eat a complete meal. This is mainly due to the release of pressure on your stomach after your baby drops. You will also notice reduction in heartburn after eating.
4. You Will Go to the Bathroom More Often.
Have your bathroom visits increased in frequency? Your urge to use the bathroom more often will increase during your third trimester, but it will increase even more after the baby drops. That's usually because when your baby drops, it puts more pressure on your bladder.
5. The Pelvic Pressure Will Be Intense.
The pressure on your lungs and stomach will ease out considerably after your baby drops, but this will increase pressure on your pelvis. In fact, the pelvic pressure will be intense because your pelvis is handling all the weight now. It often feels as if your baby will "fall out" at any minute, but that won't happen. However, you will feel wobbly and find it extremely difficult to stand for extended time. That's usually after your baby has dropped, so you have to take rest and keep your feet up to feel better.
6. You Will Have Constipation or Hemorrhoids.
When your baby drops, this increases pressure on your pelvis and your rectum as well. The rectal pressure may lead to constipation or hemorrhoids in some cases. Be sure to drink plenty of water and eat food that contains fiber to avoid dealing with such issues.
7. You Will Experience False Contractions.
It is common to experience irregular uterine contractions after your baby has dropped. Many women take these pre-labor contractions or Braxton Hicks contractions as a sign of labor, but that's not right. These contractions are just your body's way to prepare itself for the labor ahead. These contractions also play a role in helping your cervix become thin before delivery. These irregular uterine contractions won't stick to a consistent timing and don't get stronger with time – these are the major differences between false contractions and the real deal.
8. You Will Feel the Backaches.
To learn how to tell if baby has dropped in your pelvis, you need to keep an eye on any pressure and pain in your back. With your due date approaching, your baby will grow in size to an extent that it will change the position of your uterus, which in turn will shift your center of gravity. This often stretches out your abdominal muscles and puts additional strain on your back. It means you will experience severe lower back pain after your baby has dropped.
9. Vaginal Discharge Changes.
The mucus plug that seals the cervix may uncork after your baby's head descends into the pelvic cavity – the pre-labor contractions also play a role here. You may notice a change in the consistency of this mucus – it may be thick and gooey at times, and may be quite stringy on other occasions. Some women experience blood-tinged vaginal discharge as well, which is mainly the outcome of your blood vessels breaking due to the thinning of your cervix. Some women may also notice egg white vaginal discharge at this stage.
10. It Is Hard to Close Your Legs.
It is another obvious sign of baby dropping. The extra pressure on your pelvis will make it almost impossible to close your legs.
Check out the following video where a nurse talks about how to tell if baby has dropped:
Your baby will change position and get ready for delivery after dropping lower in your pelvis. It is, however, important to monitor your baby's activity even after he has dropped in your pelvis. The best thing is to monitor "kick counts" in an hour, which should be around 10 kicks or movements in an hour. You should contact your doctor immediately if you don't notice any adequate movement.
Besides, you may want to see your doctor if your baby has dropped more than four weeks before you reach full term and you experience no other signs that labor is about to happen. Similarly, it is common to notice brown- or pink-tinged mucus after your baby drops in the pelvis, but you should consult with your doctor if you notice more blood than mucus.