Does Your Belly Size Determine The Gender And Size Of The Baby
The belly size and shape determine neither the size nor the gender of the baby. A large belly could be due to excess body weight or amniotic fluid, while a small belly could be due to less amniotic fluid or if it is the first pregnancy. The size of the belly has nothing to do with the gender of the baby.
When Youll Start Showing
Every woman starts showing at a different time. Your baby wont be big enough to show until the second trimester, but many women get a belly in the first trimester from increased water and bloating.
Again, your prepregnancy fitness level plays a factor. Stronger abs means youll keep your flat belly longer. Whether youve been pregnant before is another predictor second and subsequent pregnancies show sooner. Thats partially because your muscles are weaker from previous pregnancies.
What If The Size Of The Uterus Is Not What You Expected
If you are measuring correctly and you do not find the top of the uterus where you expect it to be, based on the date the woman gave you for her LNMP, it could mean three different things:
- The due date you got by counting from the LNMP could be wrong.
- The uterus could be growing too fast.
- The uterus could be growing too slowly.
10.3.1 The due date you got by counting from the LNMP is wrong
There are several reasons why a due date figured from the LNMP could be wrong. Sometimes women do not remember the date of their LNMP correctly. Sometimes a woman misses her menstruation for another reason, and then gets pregnant later. This woman could really be less pregnant than you thought, so the uterus is smaller than you expect. Or sometimes a woman has a little bleeding after she gets pregnant. If she assumed that was her LNMP, this woman will be one or two months more pregnant than you thought. The uterus will be bigger than you expect.
Remember due dates are not exact. Women often give birth up to 2 or 3 weeks before or after their due date. This is usually safe.
If the due date does not match the size of the uterus at the first visit, make a note. Wait and measure the uterus again in two to four weeks. If the uterus grows about two finger-widths or 1 cm a month, the due date that you got from feeling the top of the uterus is probably correct. The due date you got by counting from the LNMP was probably wrong.
10.3.2 The uterus is growing too quickly
The mother may have twins
You May Like: How Can I Lose Weight Only In My Stomach
What Does Fundal Height Tell You
Taking your fundal height measurement is an easy way for your healthcare provider to keep track of your babys growth, without the need for additional ultrasounds. But does fundal height indicate baby size only? Nope! The fundal height measurement also provides your doctor with a way to track your babys position, and the amount of amniotic fluid there is in your uterus.
Fundal height measurements are also often the first indication that something may be developing differently for your baby. Dont panic, a lot of the time a fundal height outside of the average range will mean something like a slightly inaccurate conception date or due date, meaning youre not as far than you thought you were.
But if your fundal height measurement is +/-3cm from your gestational age, your doctor may suggest an ultrasound or further investigation in order to make sure everything is A-OK.
An unusual fundal height may indicate:
- A small baby possibly the presence of intrauterine growth restriction
How Will I Know If My Baby Is Just Small Or Has Iugr
During your pregnancy, your doctor will do tests to find out if your baby is growing normally. The main test for checking a baby’s growth in the uterus is an ultrasound. The ultrasound exam lets your doctor see your baby in your uterus with an instrument that is moved across your abdomen .
When the ultrasound exam is done, your doctor will measure the size of your baby’s head, abdomen and legs. These measurements will tell you and your doctor if your baby is growing normally. Your doctor will also find out the amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus. In some babies with growth restriction, the amount of amniotic fluid is low. If your baby is small, ultrasound exams may be done more often than usual to check your baby’s health.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Stomach Gas At Home
Can Belly Size Accurately Indicate Your Stage Of Pregnancy
The size of the belly may not be an indication of the stage of pregnancy. The belly size during different phases of pregnancy differs from one woman to another, based on her body type and size. Regardless of the belly size, ensure that youre maintaining a healthy weight as being overweight or underweight during pregnancy might affect the growth of the baby .
It is best not to compare the size of your bump with that of other pregnant women, as the belly size may depend on several factors.
Fundal Height: What It Is And What It Tells You
The fundal height is yet another puzzling medical term in a long list of pregnancy-related jargon. And its one youll hear a lot of as the weeks go by. If youre not quite sure what it actually means, dont worry. Weve got you.
Your doctor or midwife will start measuring the fundal height at your antenatal appointments from about 20 weeks onwards. Its purpose is to keep track of your babys growth, providing you with a lovely little snapshot of how your baby is developing throughout your pregnancy.
Don’t Miss: How To Help Puppy Upset Stomach
Listening To Your Baby
As your pregnancy progresses, the caregiver starts trying to hear your unborn baby’s heartbeat. This is mainly aimed at confirming that your baby is indeed alive, with some women not really being concerned about whether their caregiver listens or not because their baby is vigorously kicking fairly regularly.
An unborn baby’s heart rate changes as they grow. By 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy the rate is significantly higher at around 170 to 200 beats per minute . However, by about 20 weeks the rate drops to be more around 120 to 160 beats per minute but may fluctuate between 110 and 170 bpm, usually in relation to the baby moving . During labour and after birth their heart rate remains between 120 and 160 bpm .
Did you know? An unborn baby’s heartbeat can sound a little like a horse galloping.
Being able to hear your baby’s heartbeat is something most parents await with great anticipation. However, this has only become possible in recent years with more widespread use of Doppler technology by pregnancy caregivers. There are two pieces of equipment your caregiver may use to listen to your unborn baby’s heartbeat. These are:
The Amount Of Amniotic Fluid
The amniotic fluid surrounding the baby during pregnancy can fluctuate. Too much and too less of amniotic fluid could pose a problem for your baby. In the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, a womans body produces amniotic fluid, after that the baby becomes developed enough to secrete the fluid from the lungs. Thus, the amount of this amniotic fluid in the belly could also influence the belly size.
You May Like: Does Depression Cause Stomach Issues
Are There Other Tests I Might Have
One test is fetal monitoring. It’s a way to check your baby’s health inside your womb. Straps are put over your uterus as you lie down for about 30 minutes. You will hear your baby’s heart beat as it is recorded. Your doctor can look at the heartbeat recording and see if your baby’s heartbeat is normal.
You might also have an amniocentesis. A needle is put through your stomach area into your uterus. A few teaspoons of amniotic fluid are withdrawn in the needle. The fluid is tested to see if it shows the cause of the IUGR. The amniotic fluid might show genetic problems or infection.
When Will I Start To Show
You shared your exciting news with family and friends, and now you’re just waiting for your belly to make the announcement to the rest of the world!
The size of your pregnant belly and when it appears depends more on you than it does on the size of your baby. These factors play a role in your growing belly:
- Body shape
Keep these pre-pregnancy factors in mind when youre carrying your baby, and dont judge a baby by its cover! Just because youre not as big or small as other pregnant moms doesnt necessarily mean your baby isnt growing at the right speed.
Another thing to remember is that if youre carrying multiples, you will most likely start to show sooner and your belly will expand bigger and faster than a woman whos carrying one baby.
Recommended Reading: How To Fix Stomach Pain
Summary Of Study Session 10
In Study Session 10, you have learned that:
What Is Fundal Height
Its the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus.
Measuring your fundal height is one test your doctor may do at your pregnancy check-ups. Other ways they may check on your babys health include checking your physical health, running labs on your body, listening to your babys heartbeat, checking how often your baby moves, and looking at your baby with an ultrasound.
Doctors combine all of these factors to give you the most accurate understanding of how well your baby is developing.
Read Also: What Can Make Your Stomach Hurt All The Time
How To Measure Fundal Height
Fundal height measurement should be taken on an empty bladder with a woman lying flat on her back with a pillow under the head and shoulders. Care should be taken so that the mother does not become hypotensive in such position.
There are two methods of measuring fundal height, by using a measuring tape or by hand:
When Will My Practitioner Measure Fundal Height And How Big My Baby Is In Utero
Doctors begin measuring fundal height at around week 20 of your pregnancy and at every prenatal appointment until your baby is born.
Ultrasound can also be used to help estimate your baby’s weight. In the first trimester, ultrasound is helpfully for confirming your estimated due date by measuring your baby’s crown-to-rump length, or the distance between the top of the baby’s head to his bottom.
In the third trimester, ultrasound can be used to measure various parts of your baby’s body to estimate his size and weight and ensure that everything is progressing as expected.
As you reach the end of your pregnancy, you may be eager to know exactly how big your baby will be at delivery. But theres no reason to have an extra ultrasound to estimate the size of your baby if your fundal height is on track.
Although ultrasounds are generally accurate, they can over- or underestimate a babys size by 10 to 20 percent, which may in rare cases lead to unnecessary interventions like C-sections. And while ultrasounds are very safe, doctors recommend against unnecessary ultrasounds during pregnancy.
Also Check: How To Lose Your Lower Stomach Fat Fast
What Your Doctor Will Do If You Measure Big Or Small
Getting an idea of your babys size relative to his gestational age helps ensure that your pregnancy is going as expected and your babys growth is on track. If your fundal height shows a discrepancy of more than three weeks at any point during your pregnancy, your health care practitioner may investigate the reason why.
Most of the time, theres a harmless cause like a wrongly estimated due date. Health care practitioners use the first day of your last menstrual period to get a general idea of when your baby is due, but conception could have happened earlier or later. If your practitioner thinks the original estimate was off, he or she may change your estimated due date.
Rarely, measurements that are larger or smaller than expected may be linked to other conditions. Small measurements might indicate too little amniotic fluid or intrauterine growth restriction, while larger measurements may be a sign of uncontrolled gestational diabetes, a uterine fibroid or too much amniotic fluid. If your practitioner suspects one of these causes, he or she may recommend an extra ultrasound or monitor your pregnancy more closely.
What Should Your Fundal Height Be
Starting at 24 weeks, your fundal height should be about the same number of centimeters as the number of weeks youve been pregnant.
Your fundal height may be off by up to 2 centimeters in either direction and still be considered normal.
So, for example, if youre 30 weeks pregnant, a fundal height of 28 to 32 centimeters is considered to be a normal range.
Don’t Miss: What Is Good For Stomach Acid Reflux
How Accurate Is My Baby’s Size In Utero
Any estimation of your babys size in utero is simply a best guess based on averages. Every mom is a different size and shape, as is every baby inside. Measuring bigger or smaller than the average is usually perfectly normal. In fact, research suggests fundal height measurements are often off by two weeks in non-obese women.
Theres always a margin of error when it comes to estimating the exact weight and size of an unborn baby. Estimations of your babys size can be off by a pound or more, and being a centimeter or two bigger or smaller than the expected measurement is usually no cause for concern.
Fundal height can be less accurate if youre obese or have a history of uterine fibroids. You may measure off by a week or two because of other factors, including your babys position and the volume of amniotic fluid on that given day. Sometimes a baby may measure large or small because your estimated due date isnt accurate.
How Many Inches Around Is A Pregnant Belly
So, we can estimate that at maximum a womans waist will likely grow by 1 centimeter per week, on average. This gives us an average maximum waist growth of 20 centimeters or around 8 inches from week 20 to week 40. This is a very rough estimation.
Recommended Reading: How To Slim Down Stomach In 1 Week
How To Measure Your Diastatis Recti / Abdominal Separation
Diastasis recti can be a big concern both during and after pregnancy. If you arent sure what diastasis recti is its abdominal separation that occurs during pregnancy and continues both birth. This separation is completely normal and HAS to happen during pregnancy your core needs to separate to make way for your growing baby and also needs time to heal post birth. Also learning how to measure Diastatis Recti post birthan and the best time to do this is important.
Almost every woman gets some degree of abdominal separation postpartum. However when measuring abdominal separation it is not just about the width or gap of the separation that needs to be assessed, but also the depth that runs along the linea alba / center of your core. When I measure my clients for DR my focus is mainly on the connection or fascia/muscle tension of the linea alba rather than just looking at how wide the
What Does Fundal Height Tell You About Your Baby
Doctors use your fundal height measurement to test how well your baby is growing.
Its one of many tests doctors use to measure your babys growth. Your fundal height is compared to your estimated pregnancy date to suggest whether your baby is growing on track.
If your fundal height isnt what you expect it to be, it doesnt automatically mean that theres something wrong with your baby. But if your fundal height is on track, you may be able to rest a little easier knowing your baby is growing the way your doctors are expecting it to.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Stomach Fast
What Is The Outlook For Patients Who Have Polyhydramnios
For patients who have polyhydramnios, they will be advised to give birth in a hospital, rather than at home. The babys heartbeat will be evaluated during labor to make sure the baby is not going through too much stress. You may also pass a large amount of fluid as you give birth, which is normal during this time.
The babys stomach may be evaluated after birth to make sure there is nothing abnormal. Typically, the babies born to moms with polyhydramnios are healthy.