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Small Baby at 36 weeks?

(20 Posts)
Mahraih Thu 06-Jan-11 11:18:25

Just had a MW app at 36 weeks and apparently the baby is 'small'. The midwife measured twice, and when I asked, said he was about '3cm' below normal.

I'm tall (about 5'11") and she said that might be a factor. Might it? How?! Surely it would be more likely to make the baby bigger not smaller? She didn't display any visible signs of worry, but has booked me in for a scan next week and to see a consultant in two weeks.

Baby's growth has been completely normal until now. I'm worried it's my fault as I was eating very, very healthily until 3 weeks ago - baby is sitting like a gastric band on my stomach so can't keep much down, and always feel full. I'm now frantically ingesting as many calories as I can!

Anyone had any experience of this - should I be worried?

sh77 Thu 06-Jan-11 11:29:25

They will investigate further if more than 2cm out. Scan will check your amniotic fluid level to make sure it hasn't dropped and blood supply. Could be the position baby is lying in or it could be that the placenta is not working sufficiently. At 40 weeks, I measured 4 cm behind. My amniotic fluid level had dropped and I was induced the next day.

Do keep an eye out for movements and any leakage.

fiftyfifty Thu 06-Jan-11 11:29:29

Yes, I had a similar experience. I was sent for a scan at 37 weeks as my baby was small for dates. She was born the next day and weighed 5lb 5oz. She was tiny but healthy, needed no special care at all. Small babies aren't always in need of SCBU, as long as you are 37 weeks or more they are classed as full term. My dd was low birth weight and only 40cm long (think average is 50cm) and was smaller than her peers for the first 18 months. She is now 5 years old and towers above her friends. She is around 113cm tall now which is above average height and is average weight, so it all balanced out in the end.

Good luck!!

ANTagony Thu 06-Jan-11 11:29:51

I'm pregnant with no.3 and this has happened with all of mine. With DS1 he was very big - went for scan and he was a good average. DS2 very small for dates scanned and he was average, and most recently with no.3 only grew 1cm between 27 and 31weeks - I was worried because of a low anterior placenta this could have indicated restricted growth due to placenta being on the scar however at the scan DC3 is on average 1 week ahead of dates so a good average again. I'm 37 weeks today.

The problem with the tape measure method is that its an indication only - babies position, angle, human rounding of measurements etc are all variables.

Has the midwife suggested a scan? If not could you pop back for another appointment in a few days when baby has moved a bit for reassurance?

If you're eating your recommended intake and basically healthy try not to worry - if your midwife was concerned she would have referred you on. If you don't get reassurance from your responses then don't sit and worry phone her and talk it through.

deleting Thu 06-Jan-11 11:36:43

Have measured small with all three of mine, first two were 8lbs 6oz and 7lbs 5oz Third was small at 4lbs (also early but still small for dates) The tape measure is pretty inaccurate. The scan will show a bit more but is still quite difficult to gauge. Don't panic.

Mahraih Thu 06-Jan-11 11:38:21

Thanks for your responses!

sh77: I've been keeping a really close eye on leakage as about a week ago I was sure I was leaking - it was (TMI) actually running down my leg! However I'd just got up and heard that you have more discharge in pregnancy anyway. Since then I've been wearing pads to try and monitor it and it seems ok, but am suspicious.

Baby does seem to be moving, am getting 10 movements in 24 hours. But the movement has definitely gone down, he was VERY active before and now less obviously so.

ANTagony: she has suggested a scan (booked in for next week, it's the nearest one they could schedule) and also a meeting with a consultant in 2 weeks. Baby has been moving since yesterday, but less than before.
I'm trying to eat more too, and taking pregnacare!

Mahraih Thu 06-Jan-11 11:39:04

Thanks, deleting, that helps

sh77 Thu 06-Jan-11 11:41:17

ANTagony makes a good point re error in measurement using tape measure. At 27 weeks, MW measured me as 25 but my consultant measured me as 26. I had a scan on the same say, which showed some measurements to be normal and others to be small.

sh77 Thu 06-Jan-11 11:45:55

If you are worried about leakage, maybe get hold of some amniosense pads, which will detect amniotic fluid. Order online. Like you, I had watery discharge but never thought it could be fluid - it was my 1st preg and I was naive.

You might want to get movements monitored if you feel they have gone down. Mine slowed also but I just assumed less space. The obstetrician told me off for not raising it sooner.

Crystylline Thu 06-Jan-11 12:24:53

had my scan yesterday at 37 weeks and estimated weight is 5lb 4 oz - so small.

Sonographer and consultant weren't concerned, just said some people have small babies!

I'm not sure what to make of it, as he's moving (lots), i'm eating well and he's put on 1.7 lbs since last scan 4 weeks ago.

i've read on here that even with scan measurements etc, the estimations can be off (and in some cases considerably so).

I'm just trying to be calm about it and have to say (possibly rather selfishly) that I feel more relaxed that he's smaller, rather than enormous.

but, are there any negative conotations with a smaller baby?

sh77 Thu 06-Jan-11 12:31:00

crystalline - I don't think there is an issue with small babies per se. After all, some babies will be small and others will be huge. The concerns is whether growth has slowed over time.

cory Thu 06-Jan-11 12:33:01

Mine measured small because growth did actually slow down quite drastically towards the end of the pregnancy, due to my high blood pressure probably. They were both induced early. Imagine it may well have been the right thing to do.

patienceplease Thu 06-Jan-11 13:17:05

I have always measured smaller than the number of weeks by up to 3/4cm. You should have apersonalised growth chart showing where growth should be based on your wieght and height - if you go outside the lines on that they can get worried.
the reason why being taller makes a difference is that you have more space (length) between your pelvis and ribs so your tummy may stick out less, therefore measuring less. My 2 SIL are both tall - 6foot - and they both measured really small using the tape measure - their babies were 8lb 6, 9lb, 8 lb 5 and 8 lb 1 at full term.
If they are worried they'll scan you to check, but the tape measure can be notoriously inaccurate. hth

Crystylline Thu 06-Jan-11 13:18:09

thanks sh77. growth has been proportionate to weeks, just smaller amounts of weight, but not dropping.

sh77 Thu 06-Jan-11 13:41:16

Yep and as long as baby is growing along a particular centile, albeit the lowest one, that is fine.

The customised growth charts are a useful supplement to scan measures as they take maternal bmi and ethnicity into account. Just downloaded it and apparently, I should be around 1.5-2cm less than the gestational week.

Research done by Perinatal Institute has shown that 30% of babies who are classified as too small or large using conventional charts are actually normal when maternal characteristics are taken into account.

Crystylline Thu 06-Jan-11 14:05:17

ooh where do i find the customised growth charts? would be very interested to see what it looks like.

sh77 Thu 06-Jan-11 14:07:52

http://www.gestation.net/fetal_growth/fetal_growth .htm

Make sure you read the instructions about macros or it will not work. Let us know whether your fundal heights have been in line with the chart.

Mahraih Thu 06-Jan-11 14:12:08

SH77: you're right, I need to be proactive! Just didn't want to make a fuss, silly really.

I'm counting kicks and will give MW a call if still worried. Will also look into buying some of those amniosensis pads.

Thanks, patienceplease, for the explanation on the height thing! That does make sense.

Mahraih Thu 06-Jan-11 14:19:30

work computer won't let me download the growth chart.

Am sure my baby isn't meant to be small when you take into account my characteristics. Am tall, and half African ...

Anyway, will try not to worry for the rest of the day and just keep an eye on things.

beckie90 Fri 07-Jan-11 20:51:39

with ds, mine always measured larger according to the chart my baby was gonna be at least 8 and half pound at 40 weeks. even though my tummy looked tiny. and he was born at 42 weeks weighing just 6ib 7oz, so the tapes are not really that accurate, but after all there all different sizes, try not to worry

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