Originally Posted by muttix2
How do you tell the difference between it and your stomach muscles?
Your stomach muscles will be uniformly soft or uniformly hard across your abdomen. When you're palpating for your uterus and fundal height just do a little ab crunch. Your tightened abs will feel unmistakably different than the organs behind your relaxed abs.
When you're much farther along you'll be able to easily feel your fundus during Braxton-Hicks contractions but to feel this early and to get a measurement you'll need to be on your back. Bend at the knees to relieve pressure from the small of your back.
|How far up should it be right now (I'm 12 weeks)? Haven't seen my mw yet and I want to make sure everything is going along fine but I can't seem to find mine. TIA!
Generally the uterus is tucked behind the pubic bone for the first 13 weeks with the uterus being smaller and tighter for first time moms than those previously pregnant to that point. It's expected not to be able to feel fundal height at this point in your pregnancy. You can relax.
I think kati_kati gave a really good description of checking fundal height.
I use a similar technique except I find it easier to put my hand in a knifehand strike position (like a tensed hand saluting), place it across my abdomen perpendicular to my spine with my thumb and index finger up and pinkie against my belly, and inch by inch feel my way down my abdomen until I feel something firm across my lower abdomen. Then I kind of wiggle and dig in until I easily find the transition. I measure from the top of my pubic bone to this point. (Sometimes I dig in a little bit to clearly delineate the top of my pubic bone... it's covered with more fat than it used to be.)
The rule of thumb is 20 weeks = navel height and after that each cm above the pubic bone = one week of pregnancy. IME women follow the pattern of their previous pregnancies far more than the do the average for all pregnant women. I think it relates to pelvis size, shape, and somewhat to the baby's position. I must have a generous pelvis as the only pregnancy I measured average, at 38w4d I birth a 9lb 15.5oz, 23.5" long son with a 17.5" head circumference. (For the numbers-numb that's a newborn the weight of the average 1mo, the length of the average 3mo, and the head circumference of the average 6mo.) All my other babies measured small for dates. If I ever measure even 2cm large I'm not telling my husband (he panics) and will immediately palpate for twins.