What to expect during pregnancy lightening

There are many sensations that first-time moms experience that may feel different than what they are used to. One of these is pregnancy dropping, also known as pregnancy lightening. This event typically occurs during the third trimester, but can vary depending on the woman.

During pregnancy dropping, your little one moves down from under your rib cage and settles lower in the abdomen into his or her final position for delivery. You may notice that, once this occurs, the shape of your belly changes and you may be able to breathe more easily, eat more without feeling full and experience less heartburn. Despite the fact that this may bring a sigh of relief, your baby's new position may put additional pressure on your bladder, causing you to feel as if you need to urinate more often.

Another uncomfortable symptom that some expectant moms feel after pregnancy lightening is the sensation that their babies may fall out of their bodies, as they sit on top of the rectum and pelvic floor.

A common misconception about this event is that it's an indication that the baby is coming. For 65 percent of first-time moms, pregnancy dropping occurs up to two weeks before labor, according to GivingBirthNaturally.com. Pregnant women who are having child number two or three may find that this happens closer to their expected due dates.

However, if you're concerned that you may be going into preterm labor, contact your healthcare provider and get a professional's opinion on the matter.

Did you notice when your baby dropped? What were the first symptoms you experienced? Let our readers know and leave your answers in the comments section!