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Baby measuring small at 36+ weeks

(15 Posts)
chummymummy Sat 17-Apr-10 12:37:10

Really stressed out at the moment... I am currently 36+5 weeks preggers (due for c section at 39 weeks). When i saw my mwife at 34 weeks, she told me that the baby was measuring slightly small (32weeks) but wasn't too concerned as this was within range.

The following week i saw a doctor re: my c section who said the baby was measuring 33 weeks - again wasn't concerned and said it would be monitored .

At my 36 week mwife checkup, my midwife spent sometime measuring me and feeling for position of the baby and said that i was still measuring 32 weeks. She arranged for a scan the following week, when i will be 37 weeks. At this point she did seem very concerned and kept hugging me and telling me to monitor movements etc.

Now i dont know what to think, and am really confused and stressed out. I have read that it may be due to problems with the placenta. I cant bear the thought of my baby being deprived of nutrients/oxygen while i wait for my scan in 3 days time. The baby has been moving about loads, so that is slightly reassuring...but i dont know what to think.

Has anybody else been through this? Any advice would be appreciated...

narmada Sat 17-Apr-10 15:12:54

Poor you! I think it is very bad form that your midwife has left you in such a state of worry. Fundal height measurements (e.g., external measurements taken by feeling your stomach from the outside) are notoriously unreliable. Even ultrasound-based measurements are not completely problem-free.

My best friend was about 35-6 weeks when she was told, on the basis of fundal height nmeasurements, that the baby appeared to have stopped growing. Several ultrasounds later, induction followed on the grounds that the baby had IU growth retardation and would probably weigh under 5 lb at birth. Understandably my friend was really worried. Well, I'm pleased to say her little boy was born perfectly healthy at 38 + a few days weighing nearly 7 lb - e.g., nearly 2 lb more than the estimates. Proof that measurements can definitely be wrong.

More to the point, I am sure that if they were really worried, they would have got you in for a scan earlier than next week. Ring your midwife on MOnday and say you would like a scan as soon as possible as you have been left really worried by her comments and demeanour.

I really hope everything turns out fine for you. let us know how you get on.

kickassangel Sat 17-Apr-10 15:33:08

measuring the baby just by feeling it is NOT an exact science. i was told to expect a big baby - maybe 10 lbs.
dd was 6 lbs at birth, so the guesses were way off.
if you're getting a scan, that will be far more accurate.

also, ALL of dh's family are ultra thin low weight. dd was/is low weight her entire life, but eats loads & v healthy. some doctors were bothered about her low weight when she was young, others asked if she ate well, sleep etc. weight isn't the only indicator of health.

msjayjay Sat 17-Apr-10 15:55:52

if you are very worried contact your hospital for a check, its your baby so you better for your peace of mind and will be less stress for you and baby. The hospitals really don't mind if you have genuine worries. Was the midwife at you doctors ? I don't see mine often as the hospital tend to be doing most of my checks but have found that my midwife is just so busy only the basics get seen too, so any worries just get overlooked which is a shame but it may be the same with your midwife even though I think she should have referred you.

Good Luck.

93pjb Sun 18-Apr-10 08:55:51

I had a similar experience with DD - I measured small all through pregnancy and mw complimented me on my strong abs! Then at about 33 weeks suddenly got worried - I was measuring 27 weeks at that point. I had a series of growth scans which showed she was doing fine but had a scan to see if she was still breach at 36.4 and ended up being induced at 37 weeks. That was because of a concern about her blood pressure.

Being small or growth dropping off is a warning sign which means you need to check things are okay. But you might just have a small baby and that's not a problem in itself. The best indicator that your baby is fine is the fact that you've got loads of movement. Easier said than done, but try not to worry. Also, try to make sure when you have the scan that you ask the sonographer to explain all the different measurements that are being done and why and what the outcomes mean. It should help put your mind at rest.

DD was small - 5lbs 4oz(I think I read estimates of small babies are more accurate than those of large). However, she is a very healthy active 2 year old.

MrsSantos Sun 18-Apr-10 09:16:30

Poor you - DD's growth slowed at a similar stage. It is a really good thing that you are being monitored. Keep asking for information from your HCPs. I found it an anxious time and too many (totally unqualified hmm) people were too quick to try to reassure me (their intentions were good).

As far as her condition in my womb was concerned. The feoto-maternal midwives (who were very reassuring) told me that when there is an issue with growth the baby's body concentrates all the energy on growing the baby's brain which is the priority. When she was delivered the cord turned out to be very thin. There was never any explanation as to why she failed to thrive. DD finally came out after induction at term plus a few days. She was small (5lb 8oz) and has continued to be little in relation to her peers. However she is a feisty little kid, tons of energy and loads of attitude (think 5 going on 15 grin).

Insist your HCPs keep you informed all the way and best of luck.

PanicMode Sun 18-Apr-10 09:26:03

That is not very helpful of your MW!!

This is my fourth pg and ALL of them have been measuring very small - I was 31 wks at my 37 week check this time round for instance.

However, they have all been big on arrival and this one is projected to be "large" - my smallest so far has been 8lbs 5, despite measuring at least 5-6 weeks behind for most of the pgs.

Growth scans and external measurements are so inaccurate - if the consultant and the MW measured you, you'd get two different measurements I'm sure. Try not to worry - just keep aware of fetal movements and I am sure all will be fine. One MW said to me that she thinks that because I am tall, but have relatively short legs, I hide the babies in my 'abnormally large abdomen' - not the best compliment I've ever had grin!!

amidaiwish Sun 18-Apr-10 09:31:41

they did this to me with dd1 at 32 weeks, totally stressed me out, but the scan when i finally had it showed all ok (dd was transverse, they hadn't realised on measuring hmm

making you wait until weds for a scan is unacceptable - phone them in the morning and do what you have to do (tears etc...) to get them to fit you in tomorrow.

that'll give you 2 more days of reassurance/2 less days of worry.

nunnie Sun 18-Apr-10 11:04:03

I was sent for numerous scans as my baby was measuring smaller than expected for dates. She was born at 39weeks and weighed 5lb 13oz and was very healthy. If you are very concerned try and contact the hospital tomorrow and see if you can be seen sooner. Hope all goes well.

chummymummy Sun 18-Apr-10 20:29:45

Thanks for the reassurance, its good to know that every thing turned out fine for everyone.

This is my third pregnancy, but i have never had this before.

I know what you mean about not being kept informed about what is going on..sometimes it makes you wonder what the point is of having any checks, it seems that you have to push the hcp's to get anything done or to take your concerns seriously. I think all they see is a heavily pregnant woman and assume that she is a hormonal nutcase who doesn't know her own body.

I have already warned my husband that if anyone tries to fob me off at the next appointment/scan, i will show them just how hormonal i can get!

Thanks again

narmada Tue 20-Apr-10 20:07:24

Did you go for another scan? Let us know how it all turns out, chummymummy.

butterscotch Fri 23-Apr-10 21:57:52

Interested to see how it turned out for you as my MW today said to me today I'm measuring small for dates (38+2 today) measuring 36 weeks, but i have a c-section booked for 39 weeks?

I was asked about movements which I've had drop in movements twice and been to the hospital for monitoring! Now starting to worry as she said I'm measuring small again (I don't recall her saying that previously ?)

bossyboop Sat 24-Apr-10 15:39:01

I was often 1cm smaller then at 37 weeks i was 33cm, smaller than the week before so dont understand that. I was sent straight to hospital to be put on the monitor..that was fine and had a scan a couple of days later..that was fine. At the scan they said i was a petite person so would have a petite baby and they didnt really know why i had been sent. The baby was born 10 days early weighing 6lbs 3oz so was fine but had me worried for nothing. My friend was told with both of her pregnancies that her baby had stopped growing and both were born weighing over 7lbs!

LeonoraT Mon 26-Apr-10 11:40:16

Hi was told I was small for dates at every appointment from about 28 weeks, always by 2-3cm. Was reassured by my mother who had been told the same through her pregnancy and had 7lb baby. I had an 8lb 6oz baby 10 days overdue so no, not reliable, don't worry!

SecretSlattern Mon 26-Apr-10 12:35:49

Well, I have been for a growth scan today (am 36+2) as there were concerns that I was going to have a large baby (DD was 7.10, DS was 9.4). However, the scan is suggesting that this baby is about 5.12 atm. I'm worried now that she is so small! I thought babies got bigger rather than smaller.

Have consultant appt tomorrow afternoon. We were meant to be talking about induction or ELCS after a traumatic forceps delivery with DS but now I'm concerned they are going to be wanting to do something else. If they are wrong about the size and the baby is big, I am so worried I won't be able to cope with it. Had to go to the hospital for monitoring on Friday night and just walking down the corridor to the Labour Ward had me a shivering, nervous wreck.

Added to that, the baby's movements are not what they were, she's more squirmy now rather than kicking but that is to be expected I suppose. This is my third baby so you would think I'd be a bit more relaxed about it all. I actually feel more frightened this time than I did the first time.

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