Posted by: Cat | 2004/01/12


Dear Doc,

With my check-up last week at 35 weeks my gynae confirmed that the baby's head is engaged and explained that it might mean that the baby can come sooner, my due date is the 9th of Feb. How much sooner can this actually be? He also recommended that I stop working the end of this week, I will be 37 weeks then.

Also, I am having my internal exam tomorrow to determine if I can give normal birth and whether I have started dilating. How is this procedure done?? Also, if I haven’t lost my mucus plug yet can I still start dilating?


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGynaeDoc

The head can engage several weeks before labour, so the baby will not necessarily come early. In general, labour starts any time from 37 - 41 weeks.
The internal examination just involves the doctor examining you by inserting his/her fingers into the vagina.The mucus plug is usually only expelled when you start dilating.

Best wishes

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Our users say:
Posted by: Belle | 2004/01/12

Hi Cat

My baby's head was engaged from early as well but my gynae said that I can work until I go into labour if I want. I eventually went off work 1 week befor my due date because I was so tired. My baby was born 8 days after my due date and then the doctor still had to induce else he would of been even later. My advice, listen to your body, if you feel you need to go off from work then go off earlier else if you feel up to it carry on. All you can do is wait and see when baby decides to make his appearance.

The doctor does the internal by inserting his fingers (usually 2) into your vagina and feeling the cervix. It is uncomfortable but if you relax not so bad. I dialated 2cm 2 weeks prior to birth and never noticed the plug coming out.

Good luck

Reply to Belle

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