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How do I get my baby into my pelvis?? 

I'm 39w6d with my first child.  I'm not dilated at all and Annelise does not have her head in my pelvis.  I'm taking evening primrose oil, 1000mg orally and 1000mg vaginally, every night to help ripen my cervix, but now I need help getting her to descend some.

My doctor told me that because this is my first child and her head isn't in my pelvis yet (she's still 'floating around') my chances of having a vaginal birth are only about 10%.  I'm not sure that the actual numbers are that low, but I was on spinningbabies.com last night and they said something similar.  I want to be in that 10%.  I don't really want an induction but am willing to do so if I get to the point that we need to do something in a few weeks.  Until then, please give me your suggestions on how to get Annelise to descend some.

I'm having plenty of BH contractions and even a few that may be actual contractions (they hurt instead of just being uncomfortable).  Having sex is not an option right now, as my husband is out of town until Wednesday night and then will only be here for a few days.  I don't have to go into labor thisinstant, but I want to do everything I can to encourage Annelise to move down.  As of this morning, I've sworn off sitting/laying on the couch, I will only be sitting on the floor or my exercise ball.  One of the things that spinningbabies said is that your posture while relaxing on the couch isn't conducive to getting the baby to move down, so I've started with that.  Any other suggestions?  I keep hearing that I need to walk, but how often?  For how long?  Does doing squats actually help?

Edit to add: From Spinningbabies.com: "If a first time mom's baby doesn't engage into the pelvic brim by the time labor starts (or doesn't during very early labor) her chance of having a cesarean is far greater than for women whose babies have "dropped." First babies usually drop around 38 weeks or two weeks before the due date. Some earlier some a little later."

I'm just asking for suggestions to help her drop before I go into labor.  I'm not trying to make my daughter come out on her due date, I'm not trying to make her come out before she's ready.  I just want to know what your suggestions are on things to do to encourage her to drop. 

Second Edit: I understand that many doctors use this kind of situation as an excuse to push a mother into having a section and appreciate the reminders that my body can do this without having surgery.  I do not feel that my doctor was trying to scare me, nor do I feel that she will push me into having a section.  I am taking what she said to me as encouragement to be proactive during this last portion of my pregnancy and trying to work with my body to get the outcome that I want.  I am confident in my ability to birth my daughter once I go into labor and in my ability to refuse a section, as well as many of the interventions that are pushed on laboring mothers.  I have discussed my preferences with my doctor and with my mom (who will be my partner in the delivery room) and will have a written birth plan present.
21st-Nov-2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
Your doctor isn't being honest with you. Your baby may simply not be ready to be born yet or just may not have engaged yet. Just because a lot of first times moms do, doesn't mean they all do.
21st-Nov-2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
You can wait another two weeks before you even begin listening to your doctor. She doesn't have to get out on your exact EDD, you know.
21st-Nov-2008 03:39 pm (UTC)
I've actually read that doing belly dancing exercise encourages the baby to "drop."
I don't know how true it is,but it's worth a try. :)
21st-Nov-2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
I know alot of first timers that went almost 2 weeks past their EDD
21st-Nov-2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
just calm down and trust in your body.
it will do what it needs to do when the time is right :)
21st-Nov-2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...I think the number that your doctor gave you might be a bit skewed, given the high number of interventions that often lead to c-sections when women go past their EDD.

I know it's hard, but be patient :) Your baby will come when she is ready!
21st-Nov-2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
I had my son early via c-section, so I don't have any personal experience with vaginal birth, but your doctor is wrong. Your baby still has plenty of time to drop before you need to even think about induction.
21st-Nov-2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
Maybe people are telling you to be patient because that's really the only thing you can do. You are not in labor yet, and that's what the spinningbabies site is saying can be problematic. Anecdata: I had a client who was at -3 station the entire time she was in labor, even when she was complete the baby was still floating up high. We waited for her to labor down and the baby still didn't descend. Eventually she start pushing and the baby came out after about 3 hours of pushing. Her doctor did not mention a c-section ONCE. It is completely ridiculous for your doctor to be talking about c-sections when you're just at term and you're not in labor. There is no way to predict what can happen.

Squats might help, but usually they are more effective in active labor. I've sure she'll drop soon.
21st-Nov-2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
Your comment is much more helpful to me than the ones just telling me to be patient and that my doctor is mean and evil and ridiculous. Hearing stories of women who just had to push the baby down and out reassure me that I can do this without an induction and without a section. I wasn't asking for things that will 'put me into labor', I'm just asking for anecdotes of what helped other women's babies move down.
21st-Nov-2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you found my comment helpful.

Here is my concern though, if you're already being threatened with a c-section and your doctor is quoting you (false) statistics, she is not likely to be supportive before and during labor if your baby does not adhere to her perceptions of how labor is supposed to happen. It seems to me that she is preparing you to be persuaded into an induction or a c-section. I truly believe that the reason my client's birth was successful was because her provider was supportive the entire time, even though the baby never moved down until the end whenever she was checked the provider would just say "she's still up high, but that's fine, your cervix has changed in X way, she's doing well and has plenty of time to move down." Another provider could just as easily said "you've been in labor for 36 hours, she's not moved down, you need a c-section." I would be prepared for this before and during labor and remember that just because your baby is not in your pelvis yet does not mean that you need an induction or a c-section, everyone's body and birth is different.
21st-Nov-2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
I've already talked to my mom (she'll be with me in the delivery room since my husband is out of town) about how I won't be pressured into having a section because I've been in labor for X hours. I'm totally willing to be in 'pain' for a very long time in order to have my baby the way I'm supposed to. My sisters were actually very confused when I told them that I wouldn't be going to the hospital as soon as I feel contractions or my water breaks because I don't want to be put on a clock. As an example, I used the episode of Friends where Rachel goes into labor and it takes her forever while these other women are going in an out quickly. Pretending that it was a real-life situation instead of a TV show, she went in as soon as her water broke, who knows how far she was dilated or how far apart her contractions were. And who knows how long those other women waited before going to the hospital! Somehow, that explanation really helped them understand why I want to wait.
21st-Nov-2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
Have you tried walking?
21st-Nov-2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
Sorry, didn't read carefully enough. You mentioned walking and what I would probably do is take a short little walk every morning from now just to get a little exercise, maybe 20 minutes or so. Or just do what you think feels comfortable.
21st-Nov-2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
I think your exercise ball will help you out.

I didn't even notice when my baby dropped, I was so surprised to learn that the dr could feel her head when she did a cervical check! I just thought I had achy hips, lol.

Anyway, I think rolling your hips around on the ball and doing some squats may help.

Good luck mama!
21st-Nov-2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
Rocking your hips on an exercise ball might help. You may also want to try squatting (trying to keep your feet flat on the floor, even if you have to spread them apart further) with the help of a partner. Squatting can open the hips an extra 30%. Finally, on all fours, maybe trying rocking your pelvis.

If nothing else, hopefully those just feel good to do, but from my understanding, they can also be very helpful (and great to use during labor too!).

21st-Nov-2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
An exercise ball,doing a lot of walking,squats. Other then that I am not to much of a help.I do know that they baby will most likely engage when she is ready...but these are a start to what you can do to give her a little push :) Good Luck :)
21st-Nov-2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
I went in to labor on my due date, and my son (my first baby) still hadn't dropped. After my water broke at 21 hours, he still hadn't dropped. He finally dropped after 41 hours of labor, and was born an hour after that. IMHO that 10% rate is a load of hooey.

Walk as much as you feel comfortable...I tried for either an hour of walking quickly, or an hour of aerobics 5 days a week in my 3rd trimester. I'd also do lunges and squats like the others have mentioned.
(Deleted comment)
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21st-Nov-2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
Acupuncture can encourage baby into an optimal position for birth, and can help get things moving, but only IF things are ready to get moving.

21st-Nov-2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
Walking up stairs is a good one as well, both before and during labor.
21st-Nov-2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
Too bad I'm really scared of stairs. I'm currently living with my parents in their two-story house and plan on having a cradle and everything we could need downstairs so I can bring the baby downstairs and spend all day down here instead of going up and down all day because I'm scared of falling while I'm holding her. I'm kinda clumsy and have actually fallen twice during my pregnancy, although I just slid down a few stairs on my butt both times so I wasn't ever worried about the baby. I'm totally not taking that risk with my kid.
21st-Nov-2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
Grab a step-stool, and step up/down next to something you can hold onto to steady yourself (a kitchen counter, perhaps). It's the same beneficial motion.

I hear you on the stair issues! I live in a 3-story house, with 2 very steep sets of stairs. It took me a few weeks before I was comfortable going down them with my baby. And of course I always hold on to the rail with one hand!

21st-Nov-2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
Ahh, the step-stool idea is a great one! I bought a couple of slings so that I can hold on to the rail with at least one hand and feel more secure that I won't freak out and send her flying if I do fall. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but I worry about those things. Plus it was a good excuse to buy more than one sling!
21st-Nov-2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
Babies don't necessarily drop before labor. They do what they need to do. Encouraging her to change positions (if she's already head down) may be encouraging her to get in a position that is not optimal. Wait. Leave her be.
21st-Nov-2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, some of the techniques on spinningbabies.com seemed more for encouraging a baby to change positions so I'm avoiding those because I'd hate for her to flip around and become 'back-asswards' like I was. The rest of their techniques seemed to be aimed more for during labor than before labor, so I'll be printing out the pages and bringing them along with me. Who knows if I'll feel like trying any of it during labor, but at least I'll have the resources there.
21st-Nov-2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
aww, well remember, in pregnancy your center of gravity is lower, so we all have more of a chance of being clumsy! ;)
Basically everyone said it, Rocking could be very helpful.
Baby may just not be ready. It's normal for a lot of first time mom's to go a week over. My cousin is actually on her 3rd, and she's at 41 weeks right now! So I'd definately stick to your guns on what you want, and try not to worry. Good luck!
21st-Nov-2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
Squats, climbing stairs (not running them), essentially anything that is opening your pelvic area.
21st-Nov-2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
"If a first time mom's baby doesn't engage into the pelvic brim by the time labor starts (or doesn't during very early labor) her chance of having a cesarean is far greater than for women whose babies have "dropped." First babies usually drop around 38 weeks or two weeks before the due date. Some earlier some a little later."

This isn't due to the mother's body not being able to adequately birth the baby, but mainly due to arbitrary timelines being set for laboring women. Yes, a baby at a higher station will often take a little longer to come out, and that can cause problems from the care provider's point of view, since most care providers want a baby born between a 12-24 hour window (and some set that even shorter).
21st-Nov-2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
All I have is my situation with my first. Ob confirmed he hadn't dropped the day before my water broke. My water broke at 11 am, I didn't start contracting until 6 and then I had him at 11:30 that same night. I suspect, and I'm no expert, that real labor started once he engaged. From there, labor was hard and quick. I was uneducated and spent most of the time between 11am and 6pm laying in bed resting. I hesitate to tell you not to worry, because I know that isn't what you are looking for. Instead I'll wish you the very best and post some links I found.


I'm not sure if you've looked into optimal fetal position or not. It isn't directly to do with engagement but might get him/her into the right position to drop.


21st-Nov-2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
I forgot to add. I found it difficult to type on the computer while sitting on the birth ball. I turned my computer chair around and sat leaning forward against the back part of the chair. I think I saw that suggestion on spinningbabies but thought I'd throw it out there just in case.
21st-Nov-2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
After I read this I immediately started looking at all of our chairs, of course they all have arms on them!! Damn! :)
21st-Nov-2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info, I'm printing some of the stuff from the first link.
21st-Nov-2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Hula hoop, accupuncture get on your hands and knees and scrub the floor, walk along the street kerb with one foot on the kerb on foot on the road, get off your bum and walk, avoid deep squatting because if babies head is in a slightly funky position it may wedge it in and when you have time limits etc it makes it more difficult for baby to turn to the ideal position before your time is up. Do not allow any vaginal exams, you cannot risk your waters being broken 'by accident' if baby is not in the right position, it makes it even harder for them to turn and induction will not help you and will increase the risk of a c-section if baby isnt given time to rotate and get into the position she needs to be, it will just tire you, distress baby and lead to you being told that your babies just will never be able to fit.

None of my babies heads ever engaged (they were head down, and in my pelvis but not classed as engaged) first two bubbas were c-sections because of interventions, my third baby was a VBA2C and only engaged fully about 2 hours before he was born
21st-Nov-2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Oh and my VBA2C baby was less than 5 hours labour from beginning to end :) so he wasnt engaged before labour started either.
21st-Nov-2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
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