Carrying Low in Pregnancy: What It Means and Why It Happens
When my OB/GYN told me after five months of pregnancy that my baby was dangerously low, I got really scared. So, naturally, I started doing research on why it happens and what it means. Turns out, a lot of what I read was misguiding Or, at the least, it wasn’t true for my experience.
So here’s some first-hand experience about carrying low in pregnancy, what to look out for, and how to deal with it.
All About Carrying Low in Pregnancy
Carrying High vs Carrying Low: Causes
The two main causes I read about carrying high vs low are body type and lower body strength. In short, short girls tend to look as if they’re carrying low due to their shorter torso. This does make sense, as I’m not too tall myself (5 ft 4 mom to be over here!) The second cause, however, does not always make sense. Apparently, if you were skipping on your exercise, you’re paying the price. However, I used to do it regularly all up until I had to go on bed rest. And yet, I’m now stuck in bed, figuring out what to do and how not to gain too much weight.
Another just didn’t make sense to me. If my height was the issue, how come I wasn’t carrying low since the first trimester? Why was I okay for five months and then – boom! My son suddenly decided to turn head-first and go low?
Sometimes, it may just happen.
Your baby decides to turn that way and drop earlier than expected, and there’s not much you can do to stop it. So there’s no reason for you to beat yourself up over not exercising, doing this, or not doing that.
What Does Carrying Low In Pregnancy Mean for You?
So, you found out you’re carrying low. How will your life change?
It mostly depends on whether you’re also getting false contractions, and if your cervix is able to take the weight.
Braxton-Hicks contractions can start happening at any point after week 20. For me, they started extremely early. And while some women don’t even feel them until they’re close to labor, for others, like me, they can get quite uncomfortable. Paired with your baby being low, they elevate the risk of preterm labor.
Here’s how you can differentiate Braxton-Hicks from preterm labor contractions.
But all of that is nothing to worry about too much if your cervix isn’t short, soft, or dilated. Mine was only slightly shorter and not incompetent, a term which I despise. Still, my OB/GYN, out of precaution, suggested I be on bed rest. Yours may think this isn’t such cause for concern and may allow some light walks. It all depends on how serious they think it may be, and how far along you are.
Additionally, if the baby is very low, it may help to skip on having sex until they’re out in the world – but you should definitely discuss it with your OB/GYN.
Carrying Low In Pregnancy: Can You Fix It?
If you’re already carrying low during pregnancy, there’s hardly anything you can do to make your baby go up. What you can do is control the contractions, lower their amount, and make sure the baby isn’t pushing at your cervix too much. You can do the latter by ensuring you take plenty of rest, don’t do any housework, don’t sit, and don’t stand. Each of those can create pressure.
You’ll probably get some estrogen and magnesium to calm the uterus and control the contractions. Make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid unnecessary stress, as they can cause contractions. Besides that, if you’re allowed to walk, you can also think about getting a belly belt. However, be sure to only do it if your doctor okays it, as they have their pros and cons.
What does it mean if you are carrying low?
Simply explained, when you are carrying low in pregnancy, your baby is closer to your cervix than doctors would like. Because of it, the bigger they get, the more pressure you’re starting to feel. Depending on how low the baby is, it doesn’t have to be an issue, or it may warrant more detailed follow-ups.
Is it normal to carry a baby low during pregnancy?
While it’s not ideal, it’s something that happens to many women. There are certain risks to carrying a baby low, but with bed rest and certain medication, it can all be kept under control.
Does carrying baby low mean early labor?
When you’re carrying low, your chances of preterm delivery do rise. However, it mostly depends on the state of your cervix: if it’s soft, too short, or dilated, those chances grow. That makes listening to your doctor crucial in preventing early delivery.
What does it mean when baby is really low?
It means you’ll likely have to be on bed rest and take certain medication (progesterone and likely magnesium, too) in order to prevent early delivery.