Posts Tagged ‘fetal growth’

Got the munchies?

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

sweet treatsYou’re pregnant and can’t stop nibbling. But that’s OK because you’re eating for two, right? No, not really. You only need 300 extra calories per day to support your baby’s growth and development. But you don’t have to give up all the foods you love when you’re pregnant. You just need to eat smart and make sure that most of your choices are healthy ones.   You may find that your interest in food changes, perhaps a lot, during pregnancy. The old joke about pickles and ice cream came about for a good reason. You may not be very hungry during the first months. But you may want to eat everything in the house during the later months! Every woman is different, so if you don’t crave anything, that’s OK, too.

Watch your portions—you may be eating more than you think – and if you’re a grazer who eats “just a little” but all day long, keep an eye on your end-of-day total consumption. Those little doses of calories can add up to a lot! It will help you if you avoid lots of sugar and fat in your diet, too, so nosh on berries or bananas instead of bread pudding or sticky buns.  fruit

The important thing is to eat healthy foods that you like, handle them safely, and avoid foods that might be harmful throughout your pregnancy.

Fundal height

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

pregnant womanFundal height is defined as the distance from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone. It is measured in centimeters. As your baby grows, the top of the uterus (the fundus) grows up and out of the pelvic cavity.  At about 12 weeks of pregnancy it can be felt just above the pubic bone.  At 20 weeks, it reaches the navel. At about this time, your health care provider will start to measure your fundal height at each prenatal care visit. He or she will measure from the top of your pubic bone to the top of your uterus.  The measurement allows your provider to see how well your baby is growing.

Your fundal height measurement should roughly equal the number of weeks you’ve been pregnant. For example, if you’re 20 weeks pregnant, your health care provider would expect your fundal height to be somewhere between 18-22 centimeters. It isn’t unusual, however, to measure somewhat smaller or larger than expected.  Individual body types and factors such as a full bladder or carrying multiples, can affect fundal height measurements.  Some medical reasons fundal heights may be greater or smaller than expected include:
   • Fetal growth that is too slow or too rapid
   • Too much or too little amniotic fluid
   • Uterine fibroids
   • A baby prematurely descending into the pelvis or settling into a breech or other unusual position

It is important to remember that fundal height is only a tool for evaluating fetal growth.  It is not an exact science. Typically, fundal height measurements reassure you and your provider about your baby’s steady development. However, there are individual variations and no two babies are exactly the same.  So if your measurements are a bit more or less than what you might expect, don’t worry. However, if you are concerned about your fundal height measurements, make sure you talk to your health care provider.  There are other prenatal tests that can be done to assure you that your baby is doing well and growing as he or she should be.