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this is a stupid question but what do they mean EXACTLY when they say the head is engaged?

(16 Posts)
mumofdjandbabies Fri 22-Aug-08 22:47:40


MrsTittleMouse Fri 22-Aug-08 22:51:16

They will talk about engagement in fifths. So if the midwife can feel 4/5 of the head in the uterus then you are 1/5 engaged (as 1/5 of the head is too far down for her to feel). Obviously the ideal is 5/5 engaged if you are keen to go into labour soon.

mumofdjandbabies Fri 22-Aug-08 22:51:32

my babies head is not but I wondered how far into the pelvis do they consider engaged to be?

MrsTittleMouse Fri 22-Aug-08 22:53:46

Far enough that the midwife can't feel it. Just to confuse us all, they sometimes refer to the amount of the head that is palpable (sp?) - meaning the amount that she can feel. So 3/5 palpable is 2/5 engaged.

elmoandella Fri 22-Aug-08 22:56:21


neither of mine were engaged when i went to labour. both were turning and annoying me. when i was 5cm later midwife says. "oooh but the heads not even far enough down or engaged. your not ready to push"

3 pushes and 6 mins later the baby was in my arms.

MrsTittleMouse Fri 22-Aug-08 22:58:40

Mine never engaged properly either, but had to be pulled out much against her wishes. She has remained as stubborn ever since. grin

mumofdjandbabies Fri 22-Aug-08 23:01:57

HI guys!! aw so I can do it then? really?
<sighs relief> cos I feel like its my fault somehow she is in a crappy position and If i was doing something beter/different she would be turning

elmoandella Sat 23-Aug-08 07:59:48

mines were back to back and side on though. and when they were in this position throughout the pregnanxy. i.e feet kicking me out the front. this is when i felt good, and the baby seemed quiet at rest.

whenever they turned and but their bums out, i felt awful.. being sick and couldn't move. and they would batter my insides until they managed to turn themselves round the "wrong way " again.

MrsTittleMouse Sat 23-Aug-08 09:49:26

With DD1 I did the optimum foetal positioning thing with knobs on. I managed to turn her the "right" way, but then she turned right back again at 39 weeks and stayed that way - she was born "face to pubis" (lovely!). I think that OFP is a good idea to try, but certain women have a pelvic structure that encourages the baby to lie back-to-back (this is from my midwife), so please don't beat yourself up about it if you have a stubborn baby!
I'm trying OFP again this time, by the way, but DD2 is also back-to-back. I have between 5 and 10 weeks to turn her. We'll see. hmm

mumofdjandbabies Sat 23-Aug-08 12:30:02

aw thanks guys
youre stars / encouragements!

elmoandella Sat 23-Aug-08 12:36:44

has anyone told you back to back is agony and lasts for hours as it takes forever to get established. elmo was 3 days. sunday night till tues morning.

side to side was weird to. every time they put monitor on me the contractions stopped. so they sent me to the ward. and i kept saying i was having contractions. and they would put monitor on. and they would stop. so they wouldn't believe me till i was screaming i was gonna have it in the loo unless they took me to labour suite. as soon as i was in the labour suite this is when the 3 pushes and 6 min labour was close.

mumofdjandbabies Sat 23-Aug-08 19:19:51

eek! shock

elmoandella Sun 24-Aug-08 08:22:21

blush maybe i shouldn't scare you.

mumofdjandbabies Sun 24-Aug-08 17:56:51

only kidding you can tscare me I am made of steel grin

Madlentileater Sun 24-Aug-08 17:59:09

I had 2 back to back. They were long, tedious but NOT agony. Good luck.

mumofdjandbabies Sun 24-Aug-08 20:11:44

aw thanks mrs!

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