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Pregnant, lower abdominal pain. Does that mean my baby has got engaged?

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OBGYN, Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Practicing since : 1979
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i m running 36 weeks. Last night i had lower abdominal pain exactly like how i used to feel before getting periods. Does that mean my baby has got engaged ?
Posted Mon, 1 Oct 2012 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Nirja Chawla 1 hour later
Hello AAAA

The word 'engaged' is used by doctors to indicate that the biggest diameter of the head of the baby has entered the brim of the pelvic bones. Therefore, the low abdominal pain that you had cannot really tell whether this has happened unless you are examined.

As a patient, you simply need to know whether the baby is aligned correctly - with head below. That makes the chances of a normal delivery higher. Patients often feel a kind of 'heaviness' in low abdomen when the head begins to enter the brim or on the side of the abdomen, wherever the head is lying.

This discomfort or pain like the pain before periods is due to stretching and slight opening of the mouth of the uterus, which is called the cervix. This is a very normal phenomenon at this time of pregnancy as your body begins its preparations for the delivery.
However, this does not indicate that you will go into labour sooner than normal. So just, take it in your stride and continue your life and activities as you have been doing so far.

May I offer you the information, which tells you when you are in 'true' labour: contractions in the uterus, which progressively increase, rupture of the bag of water or discharge of sticky, blood stained 'show'. Whenever any of these happen, do not panic because generally babies take several hours before they deliver but do report to your doctor and hospital.

Hope this answers your queries. If you have any more i'll be happy to answer them.

All the best.
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