During the last few weeks of pregnancy, your bump may appear to ‘drop’. This means your baby’s head is now tilted down into your pelvis and becomes engaged in your pubic bone, ready for labour.
But it’s not often that this massive change actually gets clearly documented – so we were delighted to see this photo in one of the birth clubs on our forum from hannahelizabthemartin, showing the difference of just one day.
Hannah captioned it like this:
“Yesterday on the left and today on the right, I think the angle of my belly button looks really different.”
Does your bump dropping mean you’re about to give birth?
No, it doesn’t mean labour is imminent.
“Unfortunately the timing of when your baby’s head engages (descends) into the pelvis does not indicate when you’ll go into labour,” explains MFM midwife Anne Richley.
“For many first time mums, your baby’s head will engage around 38 weeks, but many babies move into the pelvis much earlier than this. But it doesn’t mean those mums will give birth earlier.”
“Your bump dropping has very little relevance to when you will deliver,” agrees MFMer Socksxx. “My sister dropped very early at about 29 weeks and her baby was right in her pelvis and she delivered at 41+2. My bump didn’t drop at all until after my waters had gone and my baby was born at 38 weeks exactly.”
Even when your midwife can tell that your baby’s head is engaged, it doesn’t mean you’ll have a noticeable bump drop.
“My baby is head down and 3/5 engaged but bump definitely not dropped!” says SazzyJay.
Sometimes it’s easy to spot a bump drop, sometimes not…
“I really noticed it had dropped when i tried to balance my glass on bump,” says Rach_and_Harry. “Was able to do this last week and now I can’t. That was my party trick!”
“My bump dropped about 4 weeks ago at 33 weeks and the head was 3/5 engaged,” explains StrawberryGirl. “I was pleased as this provided some relief from the little thing living under my ribs which was the most uncomfy I have ever been!”
Lambymumdrum wasn’t so sure. “I’m only 33 weeks, but thought my bump looked a bit lower yesterday – or rather there suddenly seemed to be a bit of space in between my boobs and bump, but it could have just been what I was wearing.”
And sometimes bumps seem to change positions…
“Mine dropped lots at 34 weeks,” recalls LittleMadam. “Suddenly my coat fitted again after not being able to do it up. Then the day before I went into labour it really really dropped. Looked really high again in labour though..
“This time it dramatically dropped a fortnight ago at just shy of 32 weeks although now looks lower some days than others,” adds Workinghard.
Your bump ‘dropping’ is one of the common things that people remark on during late pregnancy. You often get comments, even from strangers, about how low or not your bump is. But don’t worry if your bump still looks fairly high, even in the last couple of weeks. Indeed, according to midwife Anne, some babies don’t descend until you’re actually in labour.
“Neither of mine dropped (well not noticeably),” says Bink. “I went into labour naturally both times with waters breaking being the first indication of labour.”
You can find loads of great stuff like these pics and comments on our forum, as well as chat and advice with other mums and mums-to-be.