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Fundal Height

What exactly is your fundal height, why is it important and how does your doctor or midwife measure it? Many first time moms hear this phrase and wonder what it means, if it is normal, and if their baby is ok.

The fundal height is the measurement from the top of your pubic bone to the top of your fundus. Your doctor or midwife will normally start measuring this during your second trimester, possibly around the 20 week mark, or when you start showing if it is later in pregnancy.

The fundal height is used to assess your baby’s health while in the womb. Your fundal height should be equal to the number of weeks you have progresses in your pregnancy. So if you are 30 weeks pregnant, your fundal height should measure around 30 centimeters. A couple of centimeters in either direction normally isn’t much of a worry. However, if you are measuring quite a bit different it could be a sign of a problem.

If you are measuring bigger than normal, it could be a sign of a baby that is also bigger than normal, or a sign that you are having twins if it was not previously discovered. If you are measuring smaller than normal, it could be a sign that your baby is not growing properly, or has perhaps stopped growing. If either of these is the case your doctor or midwife will most likely order an ultrasound to further check the health and development of your unborn baby.

As you reach the end of your pregnancy, the fundal height can become less accurate. As your baby grows and fills out your uterus, his position can change and the measurement of your fundal height can change as well. If your doctor or midwife shows no concern over your fundal height, it isn’t something that should concern you either.

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