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First timer questions!

(14 Posts)
Holly290505 Sun 24-Apr-05 11:19:14

How do you know if the head is engaged?

How does the midwife tell - I keep hearing people have been told they are so many fifths engaged but how on earth do they tell??

How long after the head engages is labour likely to be (in a first timer??)

How long before labour does baby stop moving a lot? Do they still move a lot once engaged?

Have heard not all babies do engage - if it doesn't do the movements still stop? Do some babies keep moving til birth or not?

(I'm 35 weeks and am starting to have too much time to think of questions!) Thanks guys x

fisil Sun 24-Apr-05 12:04:46

You know if the head is engaged if the midwife tells you, IME. You do get less pressure on your ribs too, and people suddenly start telling you 500 times a day that you look like you're ready to drop (your bump kind of faces downwards).

5/5ths is engaged. Anything before then is on its way in, but not engaged yet.

First time Ds' head fully engaged at c. 35 weeks and he was born at nearly 42 weeks. So it doesn't really mean anything.

Ds kept on moving a lot right up until when I was in labour (when he might have carried on, I was thinking about other stuff by then). People say it tends to be 24 hours before labour. I'm not sure if I'd notice, though.

You're right, not all babies engage before labour, or stop moving. Your labour might start by other means, or as I said, you might just not notice it. Also, I reckon the science of "heads engaging" is not very advanced - I've heard of people being diagnosed as breach after a day of labour - so that baby clearly wasn't engaged at all! (not very common, btw, and certainly not something to worry about)

HTH

18mumtobe Sun 24-Apr-05 16:48:30

hi holly290505,

well this is only my first pregnancy too, so im too sure about these things either. im also 35 wks now so im surpose im wandering the same kinds of things as you. when is you due date, mines may 25th.
on my last ante natal the midwife said he is head down and heading in the right direction but not really engaged at all yet. i have noticed baby is moving abit less now but thats prob just due to him having less room as he gets bigger.
some people have said that the baby dosen't move during labour and others so they do, so i surpose it just depends on the babe really.
well sorry couldn't really answer your questions but just thought it would be nice for you to know that someone else is thinking the same as you.
take care xxx

kbaby Sun 24-Apr-05 20:03:18

From what I can remember the midwife can tell when its engaged from feeling how much of the babies head is in the pelvis. They measure it in 5ths as in 1 5th of the head is above the pelvis so not engaged.
Some people say you can feel it yourself but I never knew, also one apointmen the baby was 2 5ths and then a fortnight later it was back to 1 5th. I think I was fully engaged at 36 weeks but delivered at 40+4.

marne Sun 24-Apr-05 20:29:03

my dd,s head was engageg at 30 weeks (didnt give birth till 39 weeks) I could feel it, realy ached low down. Aparently the head can be engaged but can pop out again.
I still felt alot of movement up until i gave birth.

WideWebWitch Sun 24-Apr-05 20:33:39

How do you know if the head is engaged? Dunno, sorry!

How does the midwife tell - I keep hearing people have been told they are so many fifths engaged but how on earth do they tell?? Dunno, sorry!

How long after the head engages is labour likely to be (in a first timer??) I don't think it's an exact science, with ds engaged at 35 weeks, labour on day before due date so 39+6, with dd, she never engaged, I just went into labour at 41+2

How long before labour does baby stop moving a lot? Do they still move a lot once engaged? I don't think they do stop really. If they stop and you're worried, see a midwife I would

Have heard not all babies do engage - if it doesn't do the movements still stop? Do some babies keep moving til birth or not? See above.

Hope there's something in there helpful even if all it shows is that we're all different! Welcome to mumsnet.

Tinker Sun 24-Apr-05 20:46:39

Re the 1/5, 5/5 stuff etc. My notes say 5/5 is just starting to become engaged, 1/5 is fully engaged. Think it depends on how your midwives measure it. My midwife couldn't really feel the head yesterday and has written 1/5.

But 1st babies can engage and disengage and you can be engaged for quite a few weeks before birth.

charleepeters Sun 24-Apr-05 20:57:03

1. Your midwife will tell you if the heads engaged it will say in your notes and i could feel it it felt like a bowling ball between your legs! (sorry bit vulger!)
2. midwife will tell how many 5ths the head has dropped into the pelvis.
3. random ds head engaged about 30 weeks and i was induced on my due date so he was rngaged for 10 weeks with nothing!
4.cant tell you as i was induced sorry.
Basicly hun your midwife will guide you through it and she will answer any questions i know i was full of them as a first timer! Most people get signs of labour i.e show, dioraeah, energy burst (nesting instinct) and the obvious waters breaking but some people dont have any of these! everyone is different ds didnt move at all through labour but cant tell you about before sorry! anyway hun good luck x

LittleB Mon 25-Apr-05 10:43:19

Sorry to crash this thread, I'm wondering alot of the same things as I'm due with my first on May 19th. 18mumtobe, why don't you come and join us on the due in May thread, under the ante natal clubs section, you'd be welcome as there are lots of us due around the same time, with the same questions, and there are others who've already had children and are really helpful.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 25-Apr-05 11:11:03

I could tell when DS2 engaged a bit, as he was poking my bladder less, and I could go much of the night without getting up to pee.

The midwife tells by poking you in the lower belly, and trying to wiggle the baby's head. If it wiggles, it's not engaged. If it doesn't wiggle, they can tell how engaged it is by how much of it they can feel.

Some babies don't engage until labour, I think, but that's much more common in second-time mums. Some don't ever engage, my DS1 was footling breech, didn't engage, and DS2 never fully engaged, and ended up a section.

staceym11 Mon 25-Apr-05 11:35:23

My first baby is now 6 months old, i never felt a difference when the head was engaged but it was by 36 weeks and she was born at 38 weeks, the midwife told me the head was engaged and people kept saying the bump had dropped. the baby never stopped moving though, she always was active!!!!!

18 mum to be....where abouts do you live, i was 17 when i had my little one but have jsut turned 18, im finding it a really lonely time as all my friends are quite different to me now!

18mumtobe Mon 25-Apr-05 12:19:48

hi littleB

thanx i will come and join you.

18mumtobe Mon 25-Apr-05 12:21:54

hi staceym11

i live in southampton. i know the feeling about being lonely. ive had to give up work and college all through this pg as have not been well at all. so am really bored and just can't wait for the baby to come now.

staceym11 Tue 26-Apr-05 16:05:06

yeah know the feeling i worked full time and had to stop at 2 and a half months pregnant coz i was very ill. i was due to go back to college in sept but coz of baba it didnt happen. i just wish my mates suported me more!

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