What Does It Mean When Your Baby Drops?

It's called Lightning When Your Baby Drops

Doctor using stethoscope on pregnant patients stomach
Your Baby's Station. Caiaimage/Agnieszka Wozniak / Getty Images

Your baby changing positions in station in the uterus before labor is usually described as the baby "dropping." Some first-time moms can see this as a few weeks before their due date, while other moms will not notice this until labor begins.

When you make it to the third trimester, you think your body has changed all that it can change. That couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, as your baby starts to prepare to be born, and your body begins to prepare for labor, there are many changes that occur.

One of the things that happens is how your baby is carried in the pelvis. Dropping or lightning is one of those changes.

If you have had vaginal exams at the end of your pregnancy, you may be told by your doctor or midwife that your baby has dropped. This is done by simply noting that your baby is lower in the pelvis than he or she was previously. Your practitioner measures station when doing a vaginal exam. Station is the measurement of where you baby is located in regards to certain areas of the pelvis. Negative numbers indicate a baby that is higher in the pelvis, and from zero forward are signs that the baby is further in the pelvis. So perhaps your doctor said that your baby was at a negative three (-3) at your last visit, but now is at negative one (-1), this means that your baby has moved down.