Your 40-week Journey : The End of Pregnancy What to expect (part 3) - Engagement & Birth plan Stating your preferences for labor and birth

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy


Engagement is when your baby's head starts to move down into the pelvic brim in preparation for birth, and this can occur any time from around 36 weeks until the start of labor. In the last weeks of pregnancy, your midwife will palpate your abdomen to see if the head has started to engage. The degree to which a baby's head is engaged is measured in fifths. If three- or four-fifths of the head can be felt above the pubic bone, then the baby is not engaged. If only two-fifths of the head can be felt, then the baby is said to be fully engaged, and if just one-fifth is felt, the baby is recorded as being deeply engaged.

Not engaged:

The baby's head has started to move down into the pelvis, but more than two-fifths of the head can be felt above the pelvic brim.


The baby has dropped down into the pelvis in preparation for birth and you may notice a change in the shape of your belly.

Birth plan Stating your preferences for labor and birth

The purpose of a birth plan is to communicate your wishes for labor and birth.

Your plan can be as detailed or as brief as you like. Bear in mind that circumstances may dictate that not all of your preferences are met. Discuss this plan with your midwife before the birth. The following are areas you might like to include:

  • You may want to state who your birth partner will be, whether you want more than one, and if you want them present throughout.

  • You could include your preferences for managing pain. Do you want to labor as naturally as possible (would like to use a birthing pool), or do you have a preferred type of medical pain relief?

  • You can state which positions you would you like to use? do you want to be active in the first stage, and in which position would you prefer to deliver your baby?

  • Do you have concerns about being strapped to a fetal monitor? if so, do you want to request that this be done intermittently only?

  • State your preferences for after the birth. Do you want your baby delivered on to your belly, and how soon do you want to breast-feed?

Fetal positions Your baby in the uterus

Your baby can lie within your uterus in many different positions. Your midwife or doctor will palpate your abdomen (gently feel your belly) to identify which way your baby is lying. There are two main positions in which your baby will lie: with his head downward (cephalic presentation) or with his buttocks downward (breech presentation). Occasionally your baby will lie across your uterus in a transverse position or even diagonally across you in an oblique position, particularly if there is much fluid around the baby or you have had several babies previously. In about 17 percent of cases, the midwives and doctors do not identify a breech presentation until the labor itself.

Q: What is LOA and ROA?
A: Once your midwife has identified how your baby is lying, she will also try to determine whether the baby is lying on your right or left side. The midwife will track where your baby's back is, and you will generally feel kicks on the opposite side. The doctor or midwife will describe your baby as being LOA or ROA, which stands for left or right occipital anterior—the occiput being the back of your baby's head facing forward, so your baby is actually facing backward. These are the best positions for your baby to lie in for labor.
Q: What if the baby isn't anterior?
A: Sometimes babies lie in a posterior position, which means that their back is lying against your back and they are looking upward. This position may prolong your labor, which can be tiring. If this is the case, you can try the same exercises for turning a breech baby to encourage your baby to turn to be in an anterior position toward the end of pregnancy. Sometimes your baby will only turn with the help of strong, effective contractions when you are in fully established labor.

Your baby's position

Myths and misconceptions Is it true that…

Q: The eighth month is the worst?
A: Another popular myth is that by the eighth month of pregnancy women start feeling cranky and get irritable. However the truth is that due to high levels of estrogen—which can rev up your libido—some women actually feel great.
Q: Men can't feel your pain?
A: This is untrue. The father of your baby is probably as concerned about the pregnancy as you are. Encourage him to share fully in the pregnancy—go to childbirth classes together, let him talk or sing to the baby and feel your stomach when your baby kicks!
Q: I should eat for two?
A: Not true! The average pregnant woman, with one baby, needs to add about 200–300 extra calories a day. Dieting is not a good idea during pregnancy, but it's also unwise to eat junk food or to put on too much weight. Just try to follow a nutritious balanced diet, and eat when you're hungry.
Top search
- 6 Ways To Have a Natural Miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Manage Stress : Manage Job Stress - Meet Your Deadlines
- Manage Stress : Manage Job Stress - Create More Time
- Your 40-week Journey : Do Babies Need All this Stuff? Shopping for your baby (part 3) - Eco issues Raising a green baby
- Your 40-week Journey : Do Babies Need All this Stuff? Shopping for your baby (part 2) - Baby clothing
- Your 40-week Journey : Do Babies Need All this Stuff? Shopping for your baby (part 1)
- Further Applications of the Master Strategy : Nutrition - Weight Control and Your Setpoint
- Further Applications of the Master Strategy : Nutrition - The Seven Steps to Good Nutrition
- What to Do If You Are Losing Your Hair (Part 2) - Stronger Medicine
- What to Do If You Are Losing Your Hair (Part 1) - Treatment Options
- 20 ways to fit & fabulous (Part 3) - Upgrade Your Diet
Top keywords
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Top 5
- 5 Ways to Support Your Baby Development
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain