image001 The medical term “lightening” is used to describe the baby’s settlement deeper into the maternal pelvis. According to American Pregnancy Association, lightening suggests that the body of pregnant mommy is getting ready for labor; this condition can occur before few weeks to actual time of labor (even a few hours before the onset of labor in some cases). To encourage the baby dropping deeper into the pelvis, the pregnant mommy can do several things mentioned in this article.

When Does a Baby Get to Drop?

As every woman experience different labor, there are different times for babies to engage in pelvic cavity. When the time of delivery comes near, the baby begins to move downwards due to expansion of the uterus. In breech position, the baby’s head gets settled lower in pelvis. Due to this, a pregnant mother feels a lot of pressure on the urinary bladder. It is seen that some babies are likely to engage after 36 weeks; however, some babies engage when the labor starts.

How to Get Baby to Drop



Spend more time on walking

Try to increase your daily walking time. Walking several times a day at a comfortable pace helps in putting the baby’s weight over cervix and also helps in cervical dilation. When the cervix has expanded enough, the uterine contractions work favorably to push the baby towards the pelvic outlet.

No cross-legged position

Try to sit by spreading your knees in wide position and bend forward allowing belly to dangle down. The dilation will occur when the baby’s weight is more focused on cervix.

Use an evening primrose oil

Place an evening primrose oil capsule before going to bed. Many midwives recommend this herb as it helps in opening the cervix and therefore helps in initiation of normal labor. Oil can also be ingested instead of placing capsule; however, attempt the oral method only under the supervision of a doctor or a health care provider.

Important Notes:

  • It is better to consult a doctor before attempting any baby dropping techniques. Methods that cause lightening are typically labor inducing techniques.
  • Do not use home remedies for inducing labor until the baby drops in or the labor is about to occur. Following remedies like spicy food and castor oil can only upset the stomach. None of the home remedy can encourage or drop the baby until the body is actually ready for it.

What Is the Best Position for Babies to Drop in?

Labor is always shorter and easier when the baby is in head-down position. This position is called anterior position in which the backside of baby’s head is towards the front side of mother’s tummy. At the end of pregnancy, most babies come in this position. The anterior position makes the birth and labor easy because:

  • The baby’s head applies pressure on the neck of cervix during contractions which widen the cervix and produces hormones required for labor.
  • While pushing, the baby easily moves through pelvis and then the smallest part of head comes out first.
  • When the baby reaches the bottom of pelvis, he/she slightly turns his/her head so that the widest head part sets in the widest pelvis part. The backside of baby’s head is then slipped underneath the pubic bone of mother.

What Can I Do to Help My Baby into an Anterior Position?

A technique namely OFP (optimal fetal positioning) encourages the baby for changing postures to come in anterior position. This is done particularly when a mother is sitting down. It is important to remember that by OFP you are actually tilting the pelvis forward and not backward. Therefore, while sitting check the knees, they should be lower than hips.

Following tips may help:

  • Check whether the chair you are sitting on makes your bottom down and knees up? If that so, then turn the chair round, kneel on its seat and bend forward at chair’s back.
  • Scrubbing the floor is another useful technique for babies to get into the anterior position. The reason behind is when a pregnant woman sits on all fours, head of the baby swings towards the front side of mother’s belly.
  • If you are doing long sitting job, then take some breaks to move around.
  • Use cushion for lifting the bottom while sitting in car.

What About Exercise to Get Baby to Drop?

Some exercises helps in getting baby to drop, additionally it also prepares the body for delivery. However, avoid those exercises if the baby lies in breach position as it makes difficult for the baby to get into head down posture.





Walking in the last trimester is an ideal exercise for a pregnant mother. Walking is easy over joints and also controls the weight gain issue. Walking relaxes muscles of pelvis and opens hips which further aid the process of lightening. If you have not exercised during pregnancy, then consider starting it slowly. Start with a 10-minute walking a day and then increase time gradually.

Birthing ball


A birthing ball is also advised to use during last pregnancy weeks. It promotes the baby for settling into pelvis, decrease pressure and raise flow of blood for the baby. Arizona Doulas Organization and Birth Education Association encourages pregnant women to use a birthing ball as much as they can in the last weeks of pregnancy. It not only helps the baby to drop but also helps in achieving the favorable posture for delivery.



Squats widen the opening of pelvis. It also helps the baby to tumble down in pelvis. Squats strengthen the legs and open hips. While doing squatting, take it slow if you have not exercised at all during pregnancy. Use a wall for the additional squatting support and for balancing yourself. You can also do squatting by using birthing ball to avoid any injuries.

Pelvic tilts


Try to do pelvic tilts throughout pregnancy. It is a gentle method which encourages babies to drop themselves into pelvis. It also stretches and strengthens muscles and eases pain from your lower back. It also helps in easing indigestion and nausea which is a common issue in pregnancy.