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Freaked out. 39w+3d Fundal height is 35

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

My fundal height matched my weeks until I was 35 weeks, when it measured 33cm. Today the mw measured it and at first she said 34cm, then checked the chart and remeasured. She said if she stretched it, it was 35cm, so I guess it's between 34-35cm. The heart tones are good and the baby is still moving as usual, but I'm concerned about the size.


We didn't see the mw for a month. Now I'm really regretting not having measurements for all of that time and I'm freaking out a little, reading about Intrauterine Growth Restriction and all of the risks associated with it. I saw a doctor twice in my second trimester when we were considering doing shadow care. They spent most of our appointment times pushing for testing and ultrasounds for everything under the sun so we discontinued care and went exclusively with the midwife. Now I'm really uncomfortable calling them up for a NST or ultrasound. Of course I'll do it if I feel I need to. The mw basically said to go with my instincts on whether it was needed or not. I'm going to call her tomorrow when I've had time to think about it more clearly, but I was wondering if anyone here had insight or experience with this. I appreciate any response. DH isn't even home tonight and I'm just freaked out trying to sort through it.

post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 

The mw said the baby seems small, but she doesn't think it's smaller than 5.5 pounds. She thinks at least 6.5lb. She said the head seems proportional to the size of the body and my fluid seems good. She seemed fairly concerned though and told me to up my caloric and protein intake to try to fatten it up. I wish I would have asked more questions when I was there! I got emotional and couldn't even straighten out my thoughts to ask what I wanted to know!

post #3 of 19

Two things come to mind, first fundal height is not an exact science (neither would a u/s weight guess, we see those wrong all the time).  Second, has the baby dropped at all?  It is very common for late in pregnancy to have the fundal numbers drop because the baby is lower and deeper in the pelvis.


Sorry you are dealing with the fears.  It is HARD.  *Hugs*, Mama.  I hope you get some reassuring news soon!

post #4 of 19

Is it possible that the baby has dropped into your pelvis and that's why you're measuring smaller? I was measuring right on until 37w when I measured at 36 weeks (for the second week in a row) and then at 38w I was measuring at 35w. It wasn't that he wasn't growing, it was that his head was moving further into my pelvis so it changed the fundal height.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your replies! The baby is really high up still. It's head down but the head is off center a little and it's posterior. Can baby's position affect fundal measurements? If it's lying at an angle, could it stretch my uterus differently, or is that wishful thinking? (I'm not too excited about the way it's lying in there, either, btw! Never had a baby make me nervous like this one is right now!)

post #6 of 19

My measurements were consistently way off by the time I was 41 weeks pregnant with my son.  They were convinced that he hadn't grown in over 8 weeks and that he would be a micro-preemie (their words).  He was born a week later at almost 9 pounds.  I really don't have too much faith in either measurements or ultrasounds for estimating baby size or weight.


I hope everything turns out fine for you too OP.

post #7 of 19

I only measured 35 at 37w and 36/36 at 38/39w appts.  I'm pretty sure this babe will be 8ish lbs just like his brothers, so it isn't him being small!  Absolutely position can affect the measurement.

post #8 of 19

Oh and my son changed positions every day up until I delivered him.  Breech one day, head down the next, etc.  I really think that did affect my measurements and that's how they ended up thinking that he hadn't grown any (plus my weight gain was low, so I think they were just anticipating problems).  I think the more babies that you've had, the roomier it is in there and they move around a lot more.  Which can cause funky measurement readings.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

CrazyCatLady, That must have been so scary, and it's exactly the reason I choose to decline most tests in pregnancy! Usually there's just not much you can do to intervene if there's a problem.  This baby is still flipping around a lot, too, which also seemed to concern the mw. I hope it just means the baby is still in the mood to gestate for a while longer and isn't ready to settle down and choose a position yet.


Thanks, CrunchyClark. I'm glad to know that the position can affect the measurements.


Tomorrow when I talk to the mw I'll have her give me all of my measurements so I can see how it's changed over a longer period of time. It looks like regular growth is more important than the actual numbers.

post #10 of 19

DDCC from July... I was ahead 3-4cm each visit until 35-ish weeks and I seem to be 37cm all the time now (@now at 37wks) which had me worried a bit although my MW didn't say anything - my weight gain has been steady, baby heart beat normal, etc. Reading here I guess it could be the baby dropped, er is dropping. I'm a newbie too so I didn't know what was goin' on!

post #11 of 19

Normal. Your baby dropped and engaged. :)

post #12 of 19

Oh boy- I remember a midwife freaking me out when I was pregnant with my 4th. She said baby at term would be 5 pounds or less since I measured small for dates and had only gained 12 pounds. Well my baby was born at term weighing 7 pounds and fine. I did carry her low/she was engaged early.

post #13 of 19

Just wanted to pop in to say that my fundal height measured 5+ weeks behind for the last two months of both pregnancies. My girls were 7 lbs 13 oz and 9 lbs 3 oz, and my fluid levels were normal.


So try not to stress - fundal height isn't much to go by!

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm feeling really good now--largely thanks to your replies! I've really been checking in with the baby and with myself, as well as reading a lot. I'm convinced that fundal height isn't anything to worry about especially when everything else looks good. Baby is still high and--even though it's my due date today and I'd love to deliver on the solstice!--I feel like I've got a ways to go, so hopefully the baby will have time to put on another pound or so. Turns out the mw thinks it could be as big as 7 pounds already, which she thinks is small! Every day since that appointment, different girlfriends have been cooking me high-calorie food for almost every meal, which has been awesome--the food and being surrounded with so much support! Now I'm focusing on turning the baby around so I don't go into labor when it's posterior. Good luck to all the new mams and soon-to-be mamas. :)

post #15 of 19

I am due with my second in about 3 days. Midwife measured baby when I was 39 weeks and 2 days and said I was 34.5. The week before, I was 35. Baby keeps dropping, but I went through this with my first. I look belly-icious when I'm upright, but lying down, I scarcely look pregnant. I am long torso-ed with wide hips. The first time around, midwife made me nervous. This time I went for an ultrasound to humor them a month ago. Everything normal, etc. Now midwife group wants to do another, probably to protect themselves. Not sure what would change between now and a couple of days! But it is all in how the baby is positioned at the moment, she moves SO much. Keep us posted!


post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

So my daughter ended up being 19 inches long, 7lb 5oz, chunky and squishy! She's perfect and I'm happy to have had all of the high-calorie food that friends brought us to fatten her up the week before she was born. It was great when I was pregnant and even better after 19 hours of active labor!

post #17 of 19

City, my fundal height hadn't changed more than 1 cm in 4 weeks--being 35 at my basically 40w appt and my babe ended up being 9 lbs 4 oz!!! Huge boy! LOL  So much for fundal height hehe

post #18 of 19

Congrats! Like CrunchyClark said, so much for fundal height! 

post #19 of 19

congrats! also: my fundal height was 36w at my 39w appt. the baby ended up being 9lbs 3.5oz and 20.5 inches long ;)

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