head engaged on #2.what does it mean?

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bree Posts: 1880
hi - was at clinic this afternoon & Dr said babs head is 4/5 engaged. this is #2 & i thought on pregnancies other than the first that the head only became engaged as labour was about the start? what does it mean?? just want someone to tell me im likely to go into labour pronto ..lol... i wish ! my hopes are high that i wont go over anyway, cos feeling far more pressure than i was even at the end last time ! anyway ..any further enlightenment re.head engagement much appreciated !
honeybee Posts: 624
As far as I can tell from all the reading the head can be engaged for weeks before labour begins. Attached is an article outlining some of the reasons for early engagement :wv
alton Posts: 3077
This happened my aunt on her third. There was a student doctor "helping" at her scan and the consultant had stepped out of the room. The student kept asking in a very suspicious tone "are you sure this isn't your first child?" and then announced to the consultant when he returned that [i:ydzu0y1i]the baby had no head.[/i:ydzu0y1i] The consultant went through him for a shortcut. Apparently it happens occasionally. She didn't go into labour for another week or so though if I remember correctly.
theoracle Posts: 7664
4/5 engaged is quite normal for second, however head does not fully engage ie 0/5 till labour, whereas on first you get the 'belly drop' effect as the head fully engages. 4/5 is only partially engaged, ie head palpable 4 fingers above pubic bone. At that stage head can bob in and out and is often described as 'floating'. I was sort of an exception as my DD2 was 2/5 - 1/5 engaged weeks before (as described by previous post) - head was bearly palpable. I didn't go early (was 40+2), but head a speedy and easy birth which I partly associate with this fact!
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