According to American Pregnancy.org, there are over four million births every year in America alone. Every expectant mother should be aware of the signs and symptoms of engagement in pregnancy. Engagement refers to the time when the baby drops low in the pelvis in preparation for delivery. According to Babies Online, this usually occurs in the 36th or 37th week of pregnancy for first time mothers. In subsequent births, engagement may not occur until labour actually begins.
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Lightness and/or Easier Breathing
According to Babies Online, as the baby moves lower into the pelvis, an expectant mother may experience a feeling of lightness or of being able to breathe easier. Since the baby is no longer in her abdomen, this can relieve pressure on the organs surrounding and close to her stomach, including her rib cage and lungs. As a result, a feeling of lightness and easy breathing occurs.
According to Dr. Spock.com, a decrease in symptoms of heartburn and indigestion is another sign of engagement in pregnancy. Again, this occurs because of the lowering of the baby out of the woman's upper abdomen.
When the baby drops into the mother's pelvis, he can begin to press on the pelvic bone, causing her to develop either aches and pains on that bone and/or pain in her thighs, as the pelvis moves lower to accommodate the infant. She may also notice increased difficulty walking and more pressure on her bladder. Dr. Spock suggests elevating the hips, lying down to relieve pressure on the pelvis and performing pelvic tilts to help alleviate some of this discomfort.
Change in Appearance
When the baby drops, the woman may notice the infant just looks lower. She or others around her might notice this increase in space between her uterus and breasts since the baby is no longer being carried in the stomach area.
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