Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fundal Height

This is mostly for my own documentation...

I'm looking forward to my next prenatal - to seeing what my caregiver thinks of my fundal height. I've been consciously practicing self-palpation for my last several pregnancies, and I'm regularly feeling the top of my fundus at my belly button. On me, that's ~22-23 cm. Generally, your fundus corresponds to the number of weeks along you are, and for me that's held true through 6 previous pregnancies.

Here are some possible reasons I found on babycenter.com for measuring "large for dates":
• Your due date is off. (Nope, don't think that's possible)

• You have looser abdominal muscles than most women as a result of an earlier pregnancy. (rofl!! I've had 6 earlier pregnancies - ya think?! But my abdominal muscles have been looser than normal for 10 years, so I'm not thinking this is it)

• You have uterine fibroids. (This is a known side effect of estrogen dominance, so I'm not ruling it out. However, looking at the list, pre-pregnancy I had no symptoms of uterine fibroids, so I'm not super concerned about this)

• You're carrying twins or more. (Twins do run in my mom's family...)

• You have too much amniotic fluid. (I suppose this is possible, but honestly, what I'm feeling does not feel like amniotic fluid to me)

• Your baby is positioned high above your pelvis, which might be the case with a breech baby or if you have a placenta previa. (This early in the pregnancy, I don't think these would really be issues)

• You have a bigger-than-normal baby because of gestational diabetes. This condition is known as macrosomia. You may need to be tested to rule it out. (Given my history, the list of risk factors, and my current condition, I really don't think this is it. And my urine's been "great"! lol)

So that's the fundal height report. Any reasons you know of that aren't listed here?


shawna said...

Ok, so this post got me to thinking.

I don't have a tape, so I am not sure what my measurment is, but I can feel the top of my fundus two finger widths above my naval.

At my last appoitment, the midwife told me that my uterus is very tilted. Making the pelvic nearly impossible. She thought this is why I am showing so soon, that and this being my 4th.

I had a sono last weekend, and my friend looked all over for two and couldn't find two!

But now I am all curious....when is your next appt? I go a week from today. I guess we will see what she says!

Laurel said...

My next prenatal isn't for a couple weeks.

The tilted uterus can definitely make a difference in how you measure, from what I understand. Has your uterus been tilted in other pregnancies, or is this the first time they've told you that?

Also, every woman is different, and it might just be a shorter distance to your naval than it is to mine. :-)

I talked with J about the fundal height thing last night. We have an additional theory now...

We're wondering if I'm just so much more relaxed after I've been in bed for a little while that my ab muscles relax more than usual and things just "spread out." I honestly don't know how viable a theory that is, but I did check last night right after I lay down and the top was a bit below the belly button. Then I checked when I woke up in the night (before I got out of bed for another trip...) and it was up by my belly button.

If anything weird happens, we'll reconsider, but for now, we're just going to wait and ask about it at my next prenatal.

shawna said...

they (my ob) has mentioned it in passing, but not like it was a big deal.

My midwife seemed to think it was REALLY tilted. Proceeded to talk about my labors. She wonders if that is why my girls have never dropped or descended in labor. They have always floated high, past when I was complete. Only when my water breaks do they come down, with pushing of course.

I go to that baby center board some and there are a couple of moms who have severly tilted uterus. So bad they are using a catheter to urinate. Evidently until 20 wks when the uterus is big enough not to flip over backwards, and clamp down on the bladder. You should have seen me the next time I went to the bathroom. Totally accessing the situation to see if I was having trouble! :)

Laurel said...

I'm still giggling over you assessing the situation. :-)

You're getting to experience one of the big differences in thought patterns between ob's and midwives. Midwives are much more likely to look at things more closely *before* they have a particularly visible effect. OB's in general, are not trained very much in prevention and general prenatal health. They're trained to "fix" problems, not prevent them. I'm not throwing stones, but it is a general truth, and studies show that the difference in approach affects birth outcomes (things like #'s of c-sections, episiotomies, breastfeeding success, etc). I'm so excited you're working with the midwives this time! :-) I'm interested in hearing what they have to say as you go through your pregnancy about the tilted uterus.