tell me about your first baby being unengaged at term - Mothering Forums
Birth and Beyond > tell me about your first baby being unengaged at term
lalazap's Avatar lalazap 03:54 PM 04-03-2012

I want to hear from those of you whose first babies were floating up above your pelvis until late in the game. When did they drop? Was it sudden or gradual? How long before labour - or when in labour?

Help! I am needing some reassuring stories about first births that went right "despite" babe being unengaged at term. I'm having selective amnesia here and can only think of women I've known who went way overdue and eventually had c-sections for failed inductions.

Thanks in advance, mamas!

obdoc's Avatar obdoc 05:50 PM 04-03-2012

I have seen many women whose 1 st  baby is "floating" at term----yet they deliver--it is amazing what a few good contractions and molding of the head can get accomplished.  Just don't let anybody rupture your membranes, and don't go for a "cold cut"---give labor a decent chance to do what it is usually very good at doing!     Good luck!!

roadfamily6now's Avatar roadfamily6now 06:02 PM 04-03-2012

What exactly do you mean by "term" as in 36 -37 weeks? or 40+ weeks?


I don't think it's unusual at all to have a baby not engaged for a first time mom well into her 40th week or even not until labor.

Another scare tactic used by OB's perhaps?

cryswilkins's Avatar cryswilkins 06:42 PM 04-03-2012
I don't think Dd was engaged until 41 ish weeks. I went into labor at 41 weeks 5 days and delivered vaginally.
obdoc's Avatar obdoc 06:47 PM 04-03-2012

scare tactic?  Did op say she was told this by OB---I know I have NEVER used 36 weeks as term---and you are not "overdue " until 42 weeks by SURE DATES and even then you can usually just wait for labor

---many women do not keep track of their menses and do NOT plan a pregnancy.  Best approach is to let labor happen when it happens--no mucking around----


as stated above-----don't try to MAKE things happen---I spend my time trying to convince women that it is not the end of the world to be 2 or 3 days past their ESTIMATED (not EXACT) due date.


March of Dimes and ACOG have clearly come out is DISFAVOR of elective inductions prior to 39 weeks.  I prefer NO elective inductions---but you have MANY women out there ASKING for inductions--and ticked off if you say NO!  "But my family is flying in for the birth this week"  "You're not DUE until NEXT week!!"


On another site for physicians we were discussing this today---there are many OBs out there who ARE trying to do the non-intervention thing--but there are SCORES of women in our practices who don't read anything, watch the Birth Channel--which then becomes their parameter of normal---yikes that show SCARES ME!!----don't want to talk about breast feeding, bring their baby to the nursery for the night so they can chat with friends, go out and smoke (or do drugs)--and literally say at their first visit "Can I get my epidural as soon as I get to the hospital"---which ends in a lengthy discussion about labor and why are they so afraid of it.


The whole escalating C. Section rate is alarming to many of us doctors--remember there is a RANGE in there--and there are many at the lower end with me (around 8% for "all-comers" including high risk).  I personally put my career on the line speaking out against the C. Section rate a few years back.


I don't know how this simple question got turned into another opportunity to attack OBs.

obdoc's Avatar obdoc 06:49 PM 04-03-2012

Originally Posted by cryswilkins View Post

I don't think Dd was engaged until 41 ish weeks. I went into labor at 41 weeks 5 days and delivered vaginally.

There you go----good things usually happen to those who wait!


mambera's Avatar mambera 01:22 PM 04-04-2012

Huh?  I don't think either of my babies engaged until labor.  I carry high, and I never got the late-preg waddle or the sensation that the baby was resting on my crotch or any of that.  They were high up until 38wk 5d (both of them!) and then both delivered spontaneously with no issues.

LittleBirdy's Avatar LittleBirdy 08:28 AM 04-05-2012

I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but a day or two before my due date, suddenly I could see my ribs again and had more breathing room.  I went into labor a little less than a week later, and my son was born 6 days past my due date.

olive&pimiento's Avatar olive&pimiento 11:10 AM 04-05-2012

Here is some more  information you may find useful.


Seems that there is a wide variation in when a baby drops in first time mothers.



lalazap's Avatar lalazap 11:23 AM 04-05-2012

Thanks for weighing in, everyone! I'm 39+ and carrying pretty high with this baby's head still completely free-floating above the pelvic brim. I'd been feeling irrationally discouraged by that because in my experience first-time moms usually have at least a little bit of dipping, if not full engagement, by now. Not a scare tactic coming from anywhere but my own silly head. I am a birthworker and in some ways it's so much easier to trust other women's bodies and babies than it is to trust my own ... 


I just wanted some reassurance from mamas like the ones who posted here saying - yup, baby was sky high until close to or after the EDD and it wasn't a big deal, baby dropped when s/he was ready and labour began when it was time.


Anyone else?


JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 01:23 PM 04-05-2012

Ha. DS descended five hours after I had dilated to 10 cm. Very unusual. Thank god for a great midwife who was hands off.

obdoc's Avatar obdoc 07:05 PM 04-05-2012

"Not a scare tactic coming from anywhere but..."


Altair's Avatar Altair 07:34 PM 04-05-2012

Do you only want stories of babies who were not engaged at term and then dropped in labor or before?  I had quite a bit of difficulty with my unengaged baby and in retrospect I could have used a bit more realism to do some things to get him there.  But I'm not posting anything without asking since you seem to be saying you only want positive stories.  :-)

lalazap's Avatar lalazap 02:13 PM 04-06-2012

Thanks for asking Altair! I am really just looking for stories to encourage me to trust my body and my baby, as I know that a persistently unengaged head can be an issue.


As far as "doing things" ... I am having acupuncture 2x week, chiropractic weekly, sitting almost exclusively on the ball, doing Spinning Babies inversions and pelvic floor releases and trying to walk more (difficult with SPD!) - not specificially to 'make' baby engage but just generally for alignment and balance.


Wow, Judi - that is unusual. What a blessing to have that midwife for that birth!

Tags: Pregnancy