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What is Fundal Height and Why Should I Care?

What is Fundal Height and Why Should I Care?

What is fundal height and why should i care?

Last updated on March 7th, 2024 at 05:55 pm

Fundal height is the measurement of the largest distance from the cartilage joint between your pubic bone (symphysis pubis) and the top of the uterus. It’s generally a good indicator of gestational age and also may indicate a possibility of a preterm birth. It’s typically measured in centimeters (cm), and is generally a good indicator of gestational age, not your babies’ weights.

During pregnancy, it is common to have your fundal height measured at each prenatal visit. The average height is about 22 cm at 20 weeks gestation but can vary depending on the individual. However, in a twin pregnancy, your fundal height will grow much quicker since you’ll have your bonus baby hanging out too so your uterus will grow to accommodate your twinnies.

fundal height is often checked at around 20 weeks

How Is Fundal Height Measured?

Your health professional will ask you to lay down and they will take a paper or plastic measuring tape and extend it from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus. This measurement, typically taken in centimeters, will give you the measurement of your fundal height.

What Is Considered a Normal Measurement?

One of the most common questions obstetricians get from pregnant women is “What is normal for my pregnancy?” The answer, unfortunately, is that it can vary significantly from one woman to the next and for us multiple birth moms, how many kiddos we are having. In general, for a singleton, fundal height steadily increases throughout pregnancy, reaching its maximum around 36 weeks gestation. After that, it begins to decrease as the baby descends into the pelvis in preparation for delivery.

What About Twin Fundal Height?

With a twin pregnancy, the fundal height will grow much faster since the uterus is growing two babies. Unfortunately, we can not give you an “average” fundal height for twins, because the numbers really do vary from person to person. Please note, that fundal height is just a way to estimate fetal growth and offers merely reassurance of a baby’s steady growth.

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Does Fundal Height Determine Size of Baby or Babies?

No, it is not an accurate measure of fetal weight. It measures the largest diameter of the uterus, which is generally a good indicator of gestational age, not weight. However, there are a number of factors that can affect your measurements. This includes the position of the baby, the amount of amniotic fluid, and the size of the mother. For this reason, fundal height is not a reliable measure of fetal weight. Ultrasound is a more accurate way to determine fetal weight. If you have any concerns about your own measurement, be sure to talk to your obstetrician.

pregnant woman checking fundal height

What Week Does Measurement Start?

Fundal height is typically measured at each prenatal visit, starting around 20 weeks gestation. However, with a multiple birth pregnancy, your doctor may start sooner. Especially since your medical professional will want to keep a close eye on your growth week to week. Previous to 20 weeks, it’s common that your fundus (the part of your uterus that is furthest from it’s opening) will be too close to your pubic bone. This will make the measurement difficult. However, each practitioner will determine when to start measuring.

What is Fundal Height and Why Should I Care?

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What Week Do You Stop Measuring?

Most obstetricians will stop measuring fundal height around 36 weeks gestation. This is when the baby starts to descend into the pelvis in preparation for delivery. However, this will vary from patient to patient. Always remember, if you have any concerns be sure to talk to your obstetrician. Staying vocal throughout your entire pregnancy will give you great peace of mind.

What Are a Few Things That Can Affect These Measurements?

The position of the baby or babies – If the baby or babies are lying low in the pelvis (known as a breech position), this can make the fundal height appear smaller than it actually is.

speak to your OBGYN about your concerns about twin fundal height
  • The amount of amniotic fluid – A high level of amniotic fluid (known as polyhydramnios) can make the height appear larger than it actually is.
  • The size of the mother – A taller mother will typically have a larger fundal measurement than a shorter mother.

How many babies you’re carrying! If you’re having more than one kiddo, never forget that your fundal height will always grow faster than that of any singleton family. This is why it’s important to never compare your pregnancy to anyone else.

What Should Fundal Height Be at 32 Weeks?

The average fundal height at 32 weeks gestation is 40 cm, but it can vary depending on the individual. If you have any concerns about your measurement, be sure to talk to your obstetrician. With multiple birth pregnancy you can easily reach 40 cm before your 32 week mark since you are carrying more than one fetus.

twin pregnancy timeline week by week

If you just heard that second heartbeat for the first time, or you know it’s been two for a while, you need to read our twin pregnancy week by week timeline to help you learn what happens week by week with twins. Click here to learn more… and while you’re at it, check out our expecting twins classes and twin parent coaching services.

What Is Your Fundal Height After Delivery?

As your fundal height grows week by week, after delivery it will do the opposite. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “After (delivery), it should steadily decrease 1 centimeter every 24 hours. At about one week postpartum, your fundus should be at your pubic bone (where it was at 12 weeks)”

Fundal Height Chart

We genuinely wish that we can create the world’s most perfect fundal height chart, however we’ve polled several mothers of twins here at Twiniversity families and this is what they’ve said about their twin pregnancy fundal height:

“I just had mine does last week, was 32 + 6 and measured at 38/39.” -Brielle L.

What is twin fundal height?

Why Should You Care About Your Twin Pregnancy Fundal Height?

Your uterus is typically only capable of holding one baby. So if your fundal height measurement is out of the ball park, your doctor may want to consider inducing you, to ensure the safety of you and your babies. However, yours should never be a cause for sleepless nights because there are so many factors affecting it. From your own weight to the amount of previous pregnancies you’ve had, your health care professional will always inform you of anything that they find concerning. So the general rule is, don’t worry unless someone tells you there is something to be worried about.

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