Fundal height is the distance between the top of the uterus and your pubic bone. The height is usually measured in centimetres, and it is not necessary that the measurement is always accurate. Some difference can be present in the measured amount and the actual height. Doctors start to take these measurements from 16 weeks of pregnancy and usually, the height is the same as the week of pregnancy you are in; for example, if you are in the 23rd week, it is highly likely that the fundal height is also 23 cm.
Some women may witness a difference between their fundal height measurement and their pregnancy week. The difference can either be smaller or larger. The reason that this might happen is that:
- You might be overweight
- Your bladder may be full
- You are going to have multiple births
There are various conditions due to which this difference might occur.
Your doctor will prescribe an ultrasound or other solutions once they have been able to determine the cause of this difference. However, you need to take note of the fact that the measurement is only an approximation and will not be completely accurate.
The main purpose of determining the fundal height is to make sure that the baby is growing healthy and is developing accordingly. Usually, doctors add or subtract the number 2 to the fundal height, and it is important that it falls within the week of your pregnancy.
How to Use Fundal Height Measurement Chart ?
Reading a fundal height measurement chart can be difficult for normal people as it can easily be confusing, but once you understand the basics of the chart, you can easily measure the height on your own and check whether it is in line with your pregnancy or not.
Your fundal height will be measured by the doctor every time you go in for a visit. It is one of the things they check when you go to an appointment, including checking the heart rate of the baby. This makes sure that your baby is developing fine and if there are any issues with the baby or its development, more tests and checkups can be scheduled to rectify the situation at the earliest.
The fundal height chart consists of two lines that are going upward with every week of pregnancy. The first line is the normal line or the one that is the ideal measurement and what it should be. The second will be your line. The horizontal axis is the gestation number in weeks, while the vertical line is the fundal height. When you have been measured, your doctor will enter it into the chart, and you can simply compare the two lines to see how your pregnancy is developing along and if it is on track or not. It should be as close to the normal line as possible to make sure that your pregnancy is on track.
The next thing that you need to know is how to read the fundal height chart by week. The steps are quite simple and they include the measurement of your fundal height.
Make an appointment with your doctor who will be taking the measurement. The process does not take too long and will require you to visit the doctor. One benefit that you get by visiting the doctor’s office is that you can easily discuss any issues you have and identify if there is anything wrong with the development of your baby.
You will need to make sure that your bladder is empty before taking the measurement. This is because a full or half-full bladder can cause variation in the measurements, which can result in incorrect measurement and cause alarm.
When you are at the hospital, you will need to change into a hospital gown. The reason for this is the fact that your clothes, even your belt, can cause a hindrance or a variation in the measurement of your fundal height.
You will need to lie down in the position that your doctor tells you to. This position will help determine the fundal height accurately and will make it easy for the doctor to take the measurements.
You will be required to breathe calmly as the doctor checks your uterus and stomach for the baby’s growth. This is a requirement before the doctor takes the measurements.
Now, the doctor will measure your fundal height by using an inch tape. The doctor will place the starting of the tape above your stomach and take it all the way down to your pelvic area. After this, the doctor will record your fundal height.
You can now change into your normal clothes. Talk to the doctor and discuss the height to determine whether it is on track or not.
If you notice any problem with the fundal height, book a follow-up appointment and make sure to discuss and find out what the possible reason could be and how it can be rectified.
You can also measure the fundal height at home if you do not want to visit the doctor that often. Reading and recording the fundal height chart is not that difficult. When you are at home, dedicate a day of the week on which you will take the measurement. Simply remove your clothes and have an inch tape ready with you. Empty your bladder and lie down as now you will be taking the measurement. You must have noticed already the end point and starting point of the measurement the doctor uses. Just take the measurement from the same points and record it in the fundal height chart.
One thing you will need to make sure is that the height is approximately equal to the number of your gestation week. If it is not, consult your doctor immediately.