When does the baby's head normally engage? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 37w2d pg and had an OB appt today. The head is still "floating" (head down) and I'm not dilated at all. What does this mean? I think with my first I started dilating at 38 weeks and I can't remember with my 2nd...I just know I was 3cm at 41 weeks--and had him the next day. Is there anything I can do to get the head lower? I just thought I would be dilated a little...I've been having a lot of contractions over the past week like BH but starting in my lower back and wrapping around my hips. Any ideas?
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#2 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 06:41 PM
 
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i am interested in the replies to this post...i am about 38 weeks and the baby is still really high. i would love to figure out to help it move lower (particularly because of the heinous constant flaming heartburn i am having). my midwife did note at last week's appointment that i can labor and dilate without the baby being engaged, so i am trying to keep that in mind.
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#3 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 06:51 PM
 
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Mine has dropped (and dropped early last time also). I actually felt it happen this time (over the course of about 6 hours it got more intense). I am 35 weeks today. I know this is on the early side, though, but not sure what is typical.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#4 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 06:54 PM
 
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I think its different with each baby and each pregnancy. Some engage ahead of time, and some engage until labor.

As far as encouraging baby to drop or engage, I am really not sure. I think Emily posted awhile back certain positions for sitting and laying down that were supposed to encourage baby to engage. I think she found the positions on the spinningbabies website. You could always check it out.
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#5 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 06:56 PM
 
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So true, I should have said that I know some babies don't come down until labor. One of the women I was close to when I had ds had this and she gave birth before me even though she was due after! I seem to like to drop them down at 35 weeks, which at least means I can breath again

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#6 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 07:07 PM
 
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DD didn't engage until labour (and I went at 38.5weeks) so I don't think it's an indicator of anything. NOTHING happened until I went into labour with her. third babies are supposed to be the ones that break the pattern, aren't they?

ILANA
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#7 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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My midwife last week advised squatting, standing with knees apart and swaying hips, sitting on an exercise ball, etc to open the pelvis a bit to allow the head to drop. This baby has just become stubborn though, and refuses to drop. It WAS down a few weeks ago, but not engaged, then decided to be Floaty-Mc-Float-A-Lot this week.
The midwife said the only cause for concern is if the head has not dropped before my water breaks, then it can cause cord prolapse, but that it is really rare. If my water breaks I'm supposed to kneel with my butt in the air and my chest on the floor until someone can get there to check me out. ugh. like I'm going to want to do that if I'm having contractions!!
Drop babies, DROP!!!

Mom to Kayleigh (05/07) Jacob (05/09) and Ned decluttering 615/2010
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#8 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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I found squatting and living on my exercise ball helped me.The only problem is that once that head is engaged it hurts to walk and forget about putting pants on without DH laughing at you.

joy.gifme, herding 5 critters a cat and a dog. DS 11/01, DS 10/04, DD 2/06, DS 5/07 and DD 9/10

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#9 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 09:09 PM
 
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Squats are probably the best thing to bring a baby down, but really the baby will do what it feels like . The textbook first baby engages or 'drops' a few weeks before labor. The textbook second or subsequent baby engages during labor or at the onset of labor. One of the most beautiful things about having a high baby is that the baby has a much better chance to be in a good position for labor. If you squat and the baby is posterior, and you coax the baby to engage in that position, the baby will have a harder time coming out of the pelvis and repositioning. Same for babies who are asynclitic (cock-eyed) or have brow/military/other crummy presentations. If you let the baby decide, the baby will pick what (and when) works best for him/her.
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#10 of 16 Old 04-16-2007, 09:51 PM
 
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Yes - I was going to suggest squatting...

BUT!!!!

If you squat to get the head engaged and it's not quite right, then it's engaged wrong. Better, I think, to leave it alone and do other things to encourage really good LOA positioning and after a week or two of that, THEN start squatting if you still haven't dropped. Reasoning that when it's in good position and ready to drop/engage, it will. If it's still high, then it probably hasn't turned just right yet.
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#11 of 16 Old 04-17-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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Generally first time moms will engage before labor--up to two weeks. Multips are more likely to engage at anytime including during labor.

I see no reason whatsoever to encourage the baby to be lower.

Let your body work, relaxin will kick in more and more your tissues and pelvis will become more flexible, the baby will get heavier, BH will get stronger and the baby will get lower when it's ready.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#12 of 16 Old 04-17-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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Hi! I'm not sure with my other kids..I think they engaged around 37-38 weeks. My last baby was still floating around after my water broke and stayed pretty high up all through my labor so there was a lot of pushing...not bad but more than with my others.

This little monkey is still breech/transverse so I'm hoping there is room for her to flip around and get head down!!!

Take Care, Pam
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#13 of 16 Old 04-17-2007, 01:36 AM
 
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Since this is not your first baby, I wouldnt worry at all about the baby not being engaged. And like someone else said, I wouldn't try squatting unless you are positive that baby is in the correct position.

Jenn, future midwife, mama to 2 sweet girls (6/05) and (5/07). 
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#14 of 16 Old 04-17-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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Just a quick note about squatting...

Don't worry too much about it causing baby to engage. I've been squatting a lot all thoughout this pregnancy and although baby's head is in my pelvis, it's definitely not engaged (it still easily flips from left to right and back again).

Julia, unschooling mum to Gemma (5), Benny (3) and Dom (1)joy.gif
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#15 of 16 Old 04-17-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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Neither of my first two babies ever engaged or descended. This one has been riding on my cervix/firmly engaged and LOA for weeks now.

And I squatted a lot and did prenatal yoga with my first two, and have done none of that with this one!

So I'm not sure what to say, except that with me it's been different this time. Also, like the PP mentioned, it hurts to walk, so don't wish it! LOL!
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#16 of 16 Old 04-17-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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My baby have never engaged till labor started.
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