Hello…my name is Ashley and i am 39 weeks pregnant. I went to the doctor yesterday, and the baby still has not dropped into my birth canal. this is my first so I thought that this should have happened by now. What could be taking so long, and is there any way that I can help the baby drop besides walking?”
“Dropping,” also sometimes called “lightening,” is when a baby’s head descends into the pelvis before labor begins. But not all babies noticeably descend into the pelvis before labor begins. And the baby dropping doesn’t necessarily mean that you will go into labor any sooner than if he or she stays riding high– if it happens, it can be as much as four weeks before labor actually starts. If the baby drops, you may be able to tell because you can breathe more deeply without the weight of the baby under your rib cage, and heartburn may ease up without the pressure of the baby pushing on your stomach. Instead, though, it’ll feel like you’re carrying a bowling ball between your legs!
Walking does let motion and gravity help the baby move down and encourages dilation and effacement, as does sitting and bouncing on an exercise ball. But current research appears to show that labor begins as the result of hormonal signals sent by the baby’s brain; nothing short of induction or a c-section can make a labor begin before its time. Hang in there!