Is it necessary for the stomach to drop before childbirth and how to understand that this has happened?

Woman's feelings

The fact that the stomach has already dropped is not always visually noticeable. Sometimes this process goes so smoothly, taking more than one day, that a woman may not notice external changes at all. The fetus moves down, pressing its head against the pelvic bones, thereby reducing pressure on the diaphragm and stomach. The expectant mother may notice such improvements in her well-being as easier breathing due to the freeing up of free space. Heartburn goes away, heaviness in the stomach after eating, etc. But unpleasant symptoms such as increased urge to go to the toilet due to pressure of the uterus on the bladder, unpleasant bursting sensations in the pelvic area, and discomfort when walking, fully manifest themselves.

Signs indicating abdominal prolapse

During pregnancy, the baby grows, the uterus stretches and occupies almost the entire abdominal cavity. In this regard, in the third trimester, the pregnant woman begins to feel discomfort: she does not have enough air, incessant heartburn does not allow her to sleep peacefully, and a large belly causes a lot of inconvenience. Closer to 36 weeks, the process of lowering the baby’s head into the pelvis begins, which is schematically presented in the figure:

The process of inserting the baby's head into the pelvis

Due to the fact that the baby has dropped and is ready for birth, the first-time pregnant woman experiences some changes in her state of health, namely:

  1. It has become easier to breathe deeply, shortness of breath is no longer a concern.
  2. Heartburn and belching stopped tormenting me.
  3. The stomach changed shape and began to “look” down, rather than straight.
  4. Urination has become more frequent.
  5. A pulling, sometimes painful sensation appeared in the pelvic bones, and especially in the pubic bone. Movements become difficult and smoother.
  6. The gait has changed: now the pregnant woman walks like a duck.
  7. The stool has improved, the body seems to understand and cleanse itself before childbirth. But some, on the contrary, may experience constipation. In such a situation, it is necessary to take measures to help improve the bowel movement.

The listed changes are signs that the stomach has dropped.

For multiparous women, the situation is somewhat different: the stomach initially does not rise as high as during the first pregnancy. The reason is insufficiently elastic and strong abdominal muscles.

If a woman regularly exercises after her first birth, her stomach during pregnancy may be the same as during her first pregnancy, since the muscles are trained and toned.

According to statistics, in multiparous women, the stomach drops several days before childbirth, and some do not notice this process at all.

How to check: has your stomach dropped?

If this is your first pregnancy, and you don’t yet know how your stomach drops before childbirth, then you should use a few tips to help you more clearly see the changes that have occurred. To begin, stand up straight and place your hand between your chest and stomach. If a palm easily fits in this gap, then the stomach has already dropped. However, this method of determination is not suitable for everyone. Girls who are too fragile, or expectant mothers expecting the birth of a large baby, may not notice the drooping of the abdomen until the onset of labor. Another way to visually identify this phenomenon is to look at your profile in the mirror. When the abdomen droops, the location of the navel changes. That is, it seems to be directed not clearly forward, but somewhat downward. In addition, the shape of the abdomen changes. Now it is not oval, but pear-shaped, expanding downward.

Drooping belly during pregnancy before childbirth

In late pregnancy, abdominal prolapse is a completely normal process. This is explained by the fact that the fetus begins to gradually move towards the birth canal. The baby takes the position that will be as comfortable as possible for birth. After the abdomen subsides, women feel significantly better, the pain stops, and breathing is restored.

After the abdomen subsides, a woman may experience the appearance of new unpleasant sensations. Most representatives of the fair half of humanity complain of frequent urge to go to the toilet. While walking and sitting, they note the appearance of discomfort. Pain may appear in the perineum and pelvic organs. Women claim that it is quite difficult for them to find a comfortable position.

Doctor's supervision is the key to a successful pregnancy

If you can freely place your palm between the mammary glands and the abdomen, this indicates the beginning of the process of prolapse of the abdomen. The timing of the process is quite varied. They directly depend on the characteristics of bearing a child.

In firstborns, tummy sagging is most often observed a few weeks or a month before giving birth. If a woman gives birth for the second or third time, then this process can be observed immediately before childbirth.

Most often, abdominal prolapse is diagnosed at 36 weeks of pregnancy. If this process is not observed at this time, then there is no need to worry about it. In this case, the woman is recommended to lead an active lifestyle.

When the first symptoms appear, the patient must take an upright position. This will speed up and simplify the process of moving the baby through the birth canal.

Don't worry if your stomach drops earlier than the specified period. Despite the fact that this condition is a harbinger of childbirth, it is impossible to determine its exact date.

If severe pain occurs after abdominal prolapse, a woman should adhere to bed rest. In this case, it is recommended to lie on your side as often as possible, which will help reduce the load on the internal organs. After lowering the abdomen, it is recommended to take baths with soothing herbs.

Abdominal prolapse during pregnancy does not fall into the category of abnormal conditions. That is why women should not worry about this, especially if changes are observed later.

If other symptoms are observed during abdominal prolapse, then you need to consult a doctor who will prescribe a series of studies to exclude pathological conditions.

This video is for expectant mothers:

When a pregnant woman visits a gynecologist, she undergoes a series of measurements, one of which is to determine the circumference of the abdomen and the height of the uterine fundus. At first glance, basic research can tell a lot, including foreshadowing the upcoming birth. Is it really possible to know when to give birth if your stomach drops?

As the baby grows, the place where the baby is born, the uterus, increases in size. By regularly measuring a woman’s abdominal parameters, we can judge the rate of intrauterine development of the baby. Closer to the due date, the belly increases so much that the expectant mother finds it difficult to breathe, walk, bend over, and is often tormented by heartburn. But on the eve of the baby’s birth, health improves, and this is associated with the descent of the fetus and contraction of the uterus.

Medical card

The most reliable sign is the data of a gynecological examination. At each appointment, the doctor measures the height of the uterine fundus. All received data is clearly recorded and recorded in the exchange card and entered into a special table. Throughout pregnancy, the number indicating the height of the uterine fundus only grows, increasing day by day. However, at 34–37 weeks it may change sharply in the opposite direction, for example, decrease by 2–3 centimeters. In this case, we can say without any doubt that the stomach has dropped.

How to understand that the stomach has already dropped

Many women worry about how they can understand that their stomach has already dropped before giving birth, so that they can be even more prepared for this important event. Reviews from experienced mothers confirm that they were unable to grasp the moment itself, but the fact that the baby is already low becomes clear from changes in well-being and the emergence of new sensations. The most common symptoms are:

  • It's easier to breathe. After the fundus of the uterus descends, the diaphragm tends to follow it. This increases the breathing surface of the lungs. Women note a decrease in shortness of breath and a feeling of lightness in the chest.
  • Heartburn is reduced. As the uterus descends, pressure on the stomach and esophagus decreases. This leads to a decrease in the return of gastric contents, which reduces the severity of heartburn or sometimes it goes away altogether.
  • Heaviness in the lower abdomen. The presenting part of the child (most often the head) puts pressure on all the pelvic organs and bones. A woman feels this as pressure and heaviness, a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen and perineum, on the pelvis.
  • Frequent urination and defecation. Due to compression of the bladder and rectum, the expectant mother has to go to the toilet even more often, since the slightest filling will be accompanied by an urge. Urinary incontinence may even occur during physical activity, sneezing, or strong laughter.

A sagging belly usually looks like a pregnant woman. The difference can only be noticed when measuring parameters or with an inquisitive look. A decrease in the height of the uterine fundus is a good prognostic sign for full-term pregnancy. It indicates the correspondence between the sizes of the woman’s pelvis and the fetus, the readiness of the woman’s birth canal and the correct orientation of the body in preparation for childbirth.

When the changes are invisible

The absence of any obvious visual changes in the outline of the abdomen is not a pathology. The belly may drop as early as 33 weeks of pregnancy, or may not drop at all, until active labor begins. Both cases are the norm. So if you don't notice any changes, there's no need to worry. There are many reasons for this: constitutional features, a large fetus, a narrow pelvis, etc. The main indicator that doctors focus on when conducting an examination is the insertion of the baby’s head into the area of ​​the pelvic bones, which indicates the readiness of the fetus for an early birth. The baby moves down, taking a comfortable position, in which it will remain until active labor begins.

What does abdominal prolapse look like before childbirth?

Pregnancy is accompanied by changes in women's hormonal levels. Until the third trimester, progesterone, called the “pregnancy hormone,” dominates. After 25 weeks of gestation, the female sex hormone, estrogen, begins to regain its position. Under its influence, the expectant mother’s body prepares for the upcoming birth. At this time, the pregnant baby takes a comfortable position for exiting the womb and moves down. This causes prolapse of the pregnant woman's abdomen. It is impossible to determine when an expectant mother's belly will drop. This process proceeds differently in each specific case. According to average statistics, abdominal prolapse before childbirth in primiparous women occurs in the period from 2 to 4 weeks before the birth of the child. This happens at earlier or later dates. There are times when the stomach does not change position before the baby arrives. The reasons for this are as follows:

  1. the fetus was located at the lower segment of the uterus throughout pregnancy;
  2. a narrowed pelvis that does not allow the child to descend;
  3. weak abdominal muscles, unable to support the fetus.

Abdominal prolapse before childbirth in multiparous women occurs approximately 3 days before the baby is born.

Abdominal prolapse before childbirth: when does it occur?

How long does it take for the belly to drop?

After 35 weeks of pregnancy, abdominal prolapse is already allowed. Its earlier descent, accompanied by: increased tone of the uterus, nagging pain in the lower abdomen, may be a harbinger of premature birth, in which case you should immediately call an ambulance. You may need to go to the hospital for conservation in order to fully carry your pregnancy to term.

A multiparous woman should take the process of abdominal prolapse more seriously; immediately after this, the plug may come off, which is directly related to the early onset of labor. You should not wait for contractions to start; you should go to the hospital immediately.

The stomach has dropped, which means that that long-awaited moment will soon come when the mother will see her child. If a woman feels normal, then there is no need to worry about abdominal prolapse. In this case, a woman should get a good night's sleep, monitor the amount of fluid she consumes, and protect herself as much as possible from unnecessary stress, so as not to cause labor ahead of time. The baby himself will determine when it is time for him to see the world.

Why is this happening

The process of fetal development in the womb is complex, multi-stage and lengthy. As the baby grows, the fundus of the uterus rises, moving closer to the diaphragm. At approximately 36 weeks, the size of the fetus reaches the point at which the female body gives a signal: the time for childbirth is approaching. The uterus begins to decline - to 4-5 centimeters.

The average values ​​of the level of the uterine fundus in the last weeks of pregnancy look like this:

A weekDM height
34-3532-33 cm
36-3732-37 cm
38-3935-38 cm
40-4134-35 cm

The decrease in the position of the uterine fundus is due to the fact that the baby is in a position suitable for childbirth - its head is adjacent to the pelvis. This leads to lowering and further dilation of the cervix.

Week 36 - preparation for the birth of the baby

All data on changes in the position of the uterus are recorded by an obstetrician-gynecologist

in the woman's medical record.

The fetus should remain in this position until labor begins. At the same time, it prepares for the process of birth: it groups and becomes less active.

Do all pregnant women necessarily experience a drooping belly before giving birth?

Not all pregnant women notice any changes in their belly in the later stages.
And some of them begin to worry whether it is normal if their stomach does not fall. Mommies peer: how low he should sink, how to understand that this has happened. You should not attach so much importance to this symptom. In fact, quite a few pregnant women experience a drooping belly just before giving birth, or this does not happen at all. And in this case we are not talking about any pathologies. Therefore, if you don’t notice anything like this in yourself, don’t worry.

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