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How accurate are fundal height charts?

(13 Posts)
KitKat1985 Sun 24-Aug-14 20:22:15

Hello all.

I'm 36 weeks and getting a bit anxious by my recent fundal height measurements. I've put on just under two and a half stone so far. Baby has spent most of her time on the 50-60th centile range, but at her 34 week appointment was on the 70th centile, and at my 36-week appointment earlier this week was now on the 80th centile line. Midwife didn't seemed too worried, but I'm getting a bit anxious that I'm going to have a giant baby, and I'm pretty anxious about labour anyway (it's my first). I'm about 5'5 and (normally) about a size 12, but DH is a very broad-shouldered 6'3 man who weighs 17 stone. Is she likely to take after her dad in this regard? I'm getting quite scared now. Both me and baby are otherwise doing fine with no current health issues, but I just watched a sky-plus episode of OBEM with a big baby who got shoulder dystocia (sp?) and got stuck in birth canal, and it's really freaked me out. Anyone know how accurate the fundal height charts are? xx

ErmagerdANerknerm Sun 24-Aug-14 20:28:22

DD was on the 90th centile pretty much the entire time, she was 7lb14oz when born 2 weeks overdue and is a little short thing now at 5 smile try not to worry, it's not the most accurate of measurements!

junkfoodaddict Sun 24-Aug-14 20:35:25

Not the most accurate. I have a friend whose fundal height was much smaller than her dates yet baby was a healthy 7lbs. However in my case, it did highlight a problem. I was 2cm smaller than my weeks and a scan showed I had half the amount of fluid I should have had and showed a problem with the placenta.
So to summarise, funda height measurements aren't always a foul proof way of detecting a problem, but that doesn't mean to say they don't!

todayisnottheday Sun 24-Aug-14 20:43:52

Not accurate at all because there are too many variables such as fluid, presentation etc. They are a tool to help catch problems for the mw rather than anything useful for you really. If your mw isn't worrying there shouldn't be any need for you to either unless you have additional worries you've not shared with her smile

Lottiedoubtie Sun 24-Aug-14 20:50:20

Not accurate at all I don't think. Yes if they are very out of the 'norm' they are useful for the MW to flag potential issues.

I've had loads of extra growth scans this pregnancy (unrelated to fundal checks) and the results have always differed quite a lot from each other!

Also I've had drastically different results with different MWs measuring. hmm

Bicnod Sun 24-Aug-14 20:58:58

Not very accurate at all IME. Midwives were concerned that DS2 was measuring small all the way through. He was 9lb1oz at birth (one day late) grin

Lolly86 Sun 24-Aug-14 21:04:01

Not at all, my fundal heights were indicating 8/9lb baby, my DD was 4lb6oz...

ColdTeaAgain Sun 24-Aug-14 21:08:25

Not very accurate in terms of babies weight.

Keep in mind that fundal height measures the baby, the fluid around the baby and your tummy plus a bit extra if you have gained much weight during pregnancy.

If fundal height is above or below normal range you will have a growth scan to measure everything more accurately.

Being on a high centile for fundal height can just mean a lot of fluid rather than a big baby.

Droflove Sun 24-Aug-14 23:48:01

I think it was +/- 2cm for accuracy, but that's also the size of the uterus not the baby. Last baby I had a smaller fundus reading than 2 weeks before and next time if was 4cm up! The midwives weren't worried and just said the other midwife must have a different measuring style.

UpUpAndAway123 Mon 25-Aug-14 00:15:28

There are too many variables for them to be completely accurate, especially if it's a different person each time.
I have an experienced midwife who doesn't even do them-she just feels for where the uterus is. I see just her and every couple of weeks so if there were any major changes she would notice x

Bellyrub1980 Mon 25-Aug-14 05:18:18

For me not accurate. At 29 weeks under 10th centile with tape measure, 50th centile on scan. Had me worried. Have since heard many to big/too small tape measure stories that don't tally up with the growth scan.

KitKat1985 Mon 25-Aug-14 06:16:38

Okay, thank you for your replies. I'll try not to obsess about it too much at the moment then, although if fundal height measurement is any bigger at my 38 week appointment I might tell midwife that I'm getting quite concerned! x

Dontforgetyourbrolly Mon 25-Aug-14 06:23:21

OP my belly was literally off the scale , I put on 3 stone. My 10 day overdue baby was 6lb 12!

Embarrassed to say belly was mainly Doritos lol

Thank god it all came off within a few months I'm only a shortie

Good luck x

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