Is the baby's head engaged?
Pregnant women are often unsure about what the term " engagement" means, so a brief explanation of engagement and the terms used to describe it in your medical records may be useful. Strictly speaking, the baby's head is not properly engaged until more than half of it has passed through the pelvic brim in the mother's abdomen.
The best way to assess engagement is with an abdominal palpation.
- High: if your caregivers can feel all of the head in the mother's abdomen
-Non-engaged: when they feel more than half of the head above the pubic bone. They will either write in the notes that the baby is not engaged in the pelvis or state exactly how much of the head is palpable abdominally, for example, 3/5 or 4/5
-Engaged: they can feel less than half the head above the pubic bone, the baby's head is engaged. If there is only one-fifth or no fifth left to feel, the notes will record that the head is deeply engaged.
There may be occasions when an prenatal vaginal examination is helpful. For example, it can be difficult to decide which part of the baby is being palpated in very overweight women. accuracy is important because if you go into labor with your baby's head high and free, there is a potential for serious complications such as cord prolapse.