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Fundal height - how accurate or serious is it?

(11 Posts)
sparkleshine83 Fri 01-Jul-16 16:19:44

Hi folks,

I just had my 28 week midwife appointment and she told me my GTT was fine but that my fundal height was +2cm over not to worry just keep an eye on it. Last time she measured I was exactly on target... what can cause the surge? Could it seem bigger than it is if I had just grabbed breakfast on my way to the appointment and thus had a full stomach? Slightly anxious first timer would like reassurance!

LifeIsGoodish Fri 01-Jul-16 16:24:14

Fundal height is more-or-less bolleaux. It seems to be up to the individual midwife whether or not it gets measured, so there's no real consistency in what's being measured IYSWIM.

Do not give it another thought grin

Scoopmuckdizzy Fri 01-Jul-16 16:29:17

I've been measured by 3 different midwives 3 weeks in a row I measured 38cm. The last time I asked if it was a concern that the measurement hadn't changed and she basically said some midwives measure differently and +/- 2cm is fine...

malvinandhobbes Fri 01-Jul-16 16:47:54

I find it all ridiculous.

I have the squirmiest, shiftiest baby every. At 36 weeks she is head down but rotating constantly. I am very sure that depending on where she lands my bump changes shape. Sometimes wider, sometimes longer. Two weeks ago my fundal height soared off the chart, and stayed steady for a week. Then I had to have the fasting glucose test. As soon as I gave bloods and drank the juice, they measured me again and it was back on the normal curve.

I generally trust the NHS and Nice to be evidence based, but have a hard time believing in this tape measure when I am sure different midwives do it differently and surely the position of the baby must matter?!

No phone call, so assume I am not diabetic. I don't have any other symptoms outside of the fundal height.

plimsolls Fri 01-Jul-16 16:51:21

I would take no notice. It is very dependent on the baby's position at the time, among other things.

I measured 34 at 28 weeks (so 6cm over what I "should" be, and 4cm larger than normal range). Growth scan showed baby and fluid all absolutely in the middle of the expected range.

My most recent measurement was 30 at 31 weeks. So, if I took any notice I would now be slightly less than I should be and also freaked that my bump has shrunk by 4cm.

As it is, the midwife said to ignore it and not worry as it is likely the baby has just changed position.

plimsolls Fri 01-Jul-16 16:53:25

Also - I know this doesn't affect tracking your own bump's progress but as an example of how imprecise it is- fundal
height is so affected by your own height and length of torso. That in itself makes it v v unreliable.

sparkleshine83 Fri 01-Jul-16 16:54:05

Thanks guys - definitely reassuring to hear!

MrsFancyFanjango Fri 01-Jul-16 16:55:18

I have had 3 DC, my fundal height was always spot on with all 3 pregnancies and all 3 babies came up the same approx weight at scans etc. The smallest was 6lb10 and the largest 9lb14 all at the same gestation, give or take a couple of days.

I wouldn't worry!

scaevola Fri 01-Jul-16 16:58:39

It's not hugely accurate, and only matters if there's a big change (and 2cm isn't big by any stretch in this context) or if it's so at odds with your dates that they think they might be wrong.

In both cases they should be referring you for an extra scan.

(It's the advent of scanning that has made it a less useful monitoring technique. As late as the end of the 90s most women would be scanned only the once, and scans weren't universally available until the 1980s. So other ways of assessing typical growth and gestational age were used)

Oysterbabe Fri 01-Jul-16 19:42:30

It's nonsense. I was measuring big throughout and my baby was on the 0.4th centile when she was born.
I remember in one of the later appointments she measured me, checked the notes, realised the measurement was smaller than last time so did it again and managed to get it to be 3cm bigger than the first time she measured. I think she just fudged it to make the graph look good.

0hCrepe Sat 02-Jul-16 20:25:26

My friend is a student midwife and spent some time in scanning. She said all the women referred for growth scans after having a small measurements near the end were found to have the baby's head engaged. But I guess better safe than sorry.

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