During the descent your baby will assume the position of delivery. This means that it sinks more into your pelvis. This sounds like a very important moment of the pregnancy and that you might give birth tomorrow. Don't worry, this is not (yet) the case. However, your body does react to the descent of your baby and we will tell you all about it in this blog. Do you want to read it with us?
What happens when you fall down?
The shape of the head fits exactly into the pelvic floor, which is why babies in the last months (almost always) lie with the head down. And this is of course the perfect position for a birth. It also happens that the baby sinks into the pelvis with his bottom, also called breech presentation (Kirsten, s.d.).
The breech presentation
There is no logical explanation for a breech presentation. What we do know is that it occurs more often in multiple pregnancies, or when the placenta lies in front of the exit of the uterus, or with an abnormality in or on the uterus. We hear you thinking: but the baby is lying on the wrong side, now what? It is still possible that your baby spontaneously turns into the right position, but this becomes increasingly difficult from week 36. This is because the baby is still growing, but the amount of amniotic fluid decreases. This means the baby has less room to move around freely. In the hospital they can also try to turn your baby. They do this by guiding your baby on the outside of your belly. Or you can try moxa therapy. You can read more about this in this blog. If this is successful you can give birth in a natural way. If not, and your baby remains in a breech presentation? Then a caesarean section is the most desirable and safest option for you and your baby (De Verloskundige, z.d.).
When is it due?
Again, every baby and every body is different. But usually the descent takes place between weeks 30 and 38. It is also possible that your baby only descends during birth. Are you pregnant for the first time? Then your tighter abdominal muscles may cause the baby to descend sooner. Is this not your first pregnancy? Then your baby has more space in the abdomen and the descent will take place later (Pregnancy Portal, s.d.-b).
What do you feel?
Because the process happens gradually, it is possible that the birth will pass you by. But this is not true for everyone. Conception can have negative as well as positive effects.
However, some women experience hard bellies or Contraction. This is often manifested as a pulling or stabbing pain in the groin, vagina or lower abdomen. Because your baby has moved into your pelvis, it puts more pressure on your bladder, which can lead to more visits to the toilet. Other women also experience difficulty walking due to the pressure your baby puts on your pelvis, which can make you feel like you're waddling. A warm bath or a hot water bottle may help reduce the discomfort of your baby's descent (Pregnancy Portal, s.d.-b).
Still, to throw some positivity into the pregnancy fray, you can now wave goodbye to shortness of breath and heartburn. By going into labour, your baby has made room for your lungs and stomach (Pregnancy Portal, s.d.-a).
Please be patient
Your baby's descent is a preparation for labour, but this often says nothing about when labour will take place. Keep on doing what you are doing and relax. Your baby will come when it is due, but be patient.
The Midwife. (s.d.). Breech presentation. the Obstetrician. Accessed June 11, 2021, from https://deverloskundige.nl/zwangerschap/subtekstpagina/173/stuitligging/
Kirsten, P. |. (s.d.). Intubation - PUUR Birth Centre. Birth center. Consulted on June 11, 2021, from https://www.puurgeboortecentrum.nl/kennisbank/zwangerschap/indalen/
Pregnancy Portal. (s.d.-a). Falling back. Consulted on June 11, 2021, from https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/bevalling/alles-over-ween/indalingsween
Pregnancy Portal. (s.d.-b). What happens during your baby's descent. Consulted on June 11, 2021, from https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/bevalling/wat-er-gebeurt-tijdens-het-indalen-van-je-baby