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Feeling the bump

(40 Posts)
Haahoooo Wed 05-Feb-14 10:40:47

Had an appointment with a (lovely!) midwife yesterday at 28 weeks. One of the things she did was feel the bump, and she said all felt fine. I was very relieved and happy to hear it of course, but forgot to ask anything and am now wondering what midwives actually check when they feel the bump. Just curious! smile

faithmarshalang Wed 05-Feb-14 20:31:47

I wondered this as well.

bebopanddoowop Wed 05-Feb-14 20:38:39

How big it is / what way it's facing. Not too important at this stage but they monitor it from about 28 weeks til birth to check it's growing to plan etc!

SomethingOnce Wed 05-Feb-14 20:45:44

I believe it's to check size, how the baby is lying and which way it's head is pointing.

Later on they can tell how engaged the head is in the pelvis.

SomethingOnce Wed 05-Feb-14 20:46:30

Sorry, cross-post. Slow typing on phone!

CatchesTheNightTrain Wed 05-Feb-14 21:06:37

Check size of baby, measure fundal height, which in cms should correlate with weeks pregnant.

We do feel for the position of baby , is baby of normal size for age. Position in terms of head down/ breech is irrelevant at 28 wks as lots of room to move still.

By having a feel of how baby is lying we can identify the back of the baby to hopefully tell us whereabouts to listen into the heart beat (between shoulder blades best if using a pinnard).


Haahoooo Wed 05-Feb-14 21:53:10

Thank you, that makes sense and is very helpful. She did do the 'feeling' before then checking the heartbeat. I guess with training / experience you can feel quite a bit more than 'there seems to be a baby in there'! smile

CatchesTheNightTrain Thu 06-Feb-14 08:53:27

It took me a good year in my training to become fully confident of what I was feeling. Initially it all felt like lumps and bumps! Now I can easily identify head, back, limbs etc. Obviously the more pregnant you are the easier the palpating is :-)

I'd go so far as to say it's an art, the skill of palpation. I remember when I began my training and as a cohort we were told the only tools we ever truly need are our eyes and hands. As if push comes to shove and you find yourself in a situation without equipment or technology you still need to know what to do safely. Good lesson that was.

Interesting for women they see us simply touching the bump, but you can tell an awful lot about the look of it too, in later pregnancy a dip under the belly button gives you a clue to how the baby is lying before you even touch.

And we always ask where you feel movements, usually to confirm what we think based on the examination.

Sorry I could go on and on. But it is so much more than a prod and a poke and can tell you heaps. :-)

dats Thu 06-Feb-14 10:11:28

I'm happy for you to go on, it's fascinating! I wish you were my midwife grin

At my 28 week appt, she had a bit of a feel but when I asked if she could tell which way it was lying (just out of curiousity of where I'm feeling movement) she said no, not at this point! I was quite surprised!

I thought I'd be able to distinguish the lumps and bumps but I am still utterly clueless and constantly baffled by the low down 'tickling' on complete opposite sides of my bump - almost the middle of each thigh, thinking 'what's it doing in there?!?'! And the slow squirming is getting weirder and more pronounced by the day. It's a very odd thing this pregnancy malarkey!

dats, 29+2

Peacenquiet2 Thu 06-Feb-14 10:12:56

Out of curiosity what does a dip in belly button say? Im. 35 weeks and when i lie flat mine dips in. Im due c section anyway so im really asking from curiosity :-)

CatchesTheNightTrain Thu 06-Feb-14 10:35:21

Depends how pronounced the dip is, but usually means baby is lying at your side or back to back. If to the side , you'll still feel limbs and back, if back to back usually just limbs.

I would then feel for the head, and try and identify the shoulders to work out direction of the back, if babies back is to your back.

Does that make sense?

CatchesTheNightTrain Thu 06-Feb-14 10:38:18

And bless you, thanks Dat :-)

At 28 weeks your midwife should be able to say position of the baby, but it's only relevant for that moment as they can still move 360 degrees in every which way.

The main thing at that point is establishing that growth is normal, etc

Haahoooo Thu 06-Feb-14 10:53:25

I am learning a lot on this thread! Thank you.

I think my baby (28 weeks) is still all over the place - I often have a sensation like he is doing a complete somersault. Followed by some boxing! It seems he's enjoying himself (probably overthinking this!).

He is a lot more active than DD was when I was expecting her, and she is now (17 months) a bundle of energy so I am bracing myself...

dats Thu 06-Feb-14 11:01:58

That's what I thought! I was only curious for that moment in time, I think - it moves around so much! If I feel a similar type of movement on each side of my bump, at the same time does that sound like it's lying transverse? And is it hands and feet? Or head and knees? Or could it be either?! Realise Internet palpation is not an exact science wink

barebranches Thu 06-Feb-14 11:09:32

i got my bump out for the midwife 38 week check... she said ohh i can see straight away how this on is positioned!... she didnt even need to feel.
my bump just looks round and massive to me! grin

CatchesTheNightTrain Thu 06-Feb-14 11:16:11

Lol! It is funny when you see some bumps as it is so apparent how the baby is lying. Makes the too soooo much easier!

At 28 weeks baby has so much space to stretch and move. Could be transverse equally could be stretching out - can't really say without a prod am afraid. Sadly I'm not quite that good ;-)

highlove Thu 06-Feb-14 11:30:33

This is fascinating!

Can I hijack and ask a question - at nearly 36 weeks baby us head down but diagonal, so head one side of the pelvis, bum in the ribs on the other side and feet poking down my itlikely to end up in the right position to give birth at some point?!

Catches you could start charging - world's first virtual midwife?!

CatchesTheNightTrain Thu 06-Feb-14 11:49:31

Lol! I will think on that ;-)

I wouldn't be concerned about position right now, sounds almost oblique. Is it your first baby?

Many babies whilst head down don't actually engage until labour, and women who have had babies before can find that the baby will bob in and our of the pelvis.

The contractions of labour are fantastic for bringing the head down and rotating the baby into position, so I wouldn't be concerned right now.

highlove Thu 06-Feb-14 12:01:40

Yep it's my first. Thank you thanks

dats Thu 06-Feb-14 12:53:56

Thanks, Catches! It's so interesting to hear all this stuff! My first, too - so no bloody clue about anything grin

AnnaBanana25 Thu 06-Feb-14 13:51:17

Oh my, thread hijacker here too! Catches, you've made work for yourself now! So I'm 20 + 4 and been getting increasing movement, mostly tickling and a few prodding sensations from under my belly button. Is it possible to know what the baby is going to cause this? Thanks :-)

mrsmugoo Thu 06-Feb-14 13:55:43

The midwives still can't agree on if mine is breech or not - they think it more likely is, but my movements suggest maybe not.

If they still can't agree at my next appointment (36 weeks) then I get a scan. But until then they don't seem bothered either way.

CatchesTheNightTrain Thu 06-Feb-14 14:01:09

At 20 weeks the top of your uterus should be at about the same level as your belly button. So any movements you feel in theory will be between your belly button and pubic bone at this point.

Initial movements are often described as tickling/ butterflies/ akin to trapped wind and increasingly prods. What baby is doing who knows, they have lots of space to stretch out and play at this point :-)

And as your baby gets bigger, they also get stronger, so the prods become more and more prominent. Exciting times.

AnnaBanana25 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:17:16

Awww its so nice to know that what I'm feeling sound about right for the time, I thought they were too low to be anything at first as it can be more towards the pubic bone as you said. Can't wait for more prods! Thank you :-)

Peacenquiet2 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:27:19

Thanks for the reply catchesthenighttrain. It makes sense, and in fact my last dc was back to back right up to and even through the labour so im wondering if my pelvis is favorable to them sitting this way.
I cant feel back at the moment, just knees, elbows etc jabbing out the sides and front. Has been really hard to feel the head this time but i assumed that was due to me having a anterior placenta.

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