How to Measure Fundal Height2



Empty your bladder and remove your clothing.,
Grab a measuring tape.,
Lay on your back.,
Find your pubic bone.,
Find your fundus.,
Measure from your pubic bone to your fundus.,
If your fundal height appears abnormal, contact your doctor.

It’s not difficult at all to measure your fundal height on your own. To begin, empty your bladder and shed your clothing as you would in preparation for a fundal height measurement at the doctor’s office. If you’d like, you may choose to put on a loose gown or similar garment (like an over-sized tee shirt) to simulate a hospital gown.

Because most laypeople aren’t medically trained in the procedure of measuring fundal heights and because, as noted above, an abnormal fundal height can have a wide variety of causes, it’s important to remember not to make any medical decisions based on the results of a self-performed fundal height test. If you obtain an abnormal result, follow up with a trained doctor, nurse, or midwife for confirmation.

, Soft, flexible sewing-style measuring tools work best, as they can conform to the curve of your stomach for a more accurate measurement. However, in a pinch, a ruler or even your fingers can work as a measuring tool. Typically, fundal heights are measured in centimeters, but if all you have are tools that measure in inches, use the conversion factor 1 inch = 2.54 cm.

, Hard surfaces (like the floor) work best – soft surfaces (like some mattresses) can allow your posture to “sink” into the surface somewhat. If desired, feel free to place a pillow under your head.

, The symphysis pubis (pubic bone) is a small, ridge-like bone on the front of the body just above the pubic area. Feel for the top of the pubic bone just below the bottom of your stomach – usually, this is near the top of where your pubic hair naturally extends. The pubic bone is often covered by a layer of subcutaneous fat which can make it somewhat tricky to find – you may need to press gently into your skin with your fingers to feel it.

, Next, find your fundus (the “top” of your uterus) by feeling near your belly button. Relax your stomach muscles as you gently massage the area above and below your belly button. Feel for a vague “ridge” beneath the skin – this is your fundus.

Generally, before the 20th week of pregnancy, the fundus will be below the belly button, while after the 20th week, it will be above it., When you’ve found both your pubic bone and your fundus, it’s time to measure. Hold the “0” end of your tape measure against the top of your pubic bone and carefully stretch it across your pubis, up and over the curve of your stomach, and to your fundus. Record this measurement (in cm). Generally, fundal heights should be within 1-4 cm of the baby’s gestational age in weeks. For example, a 20 week-old pregnancy should have a fundal height of about 16-24 cm.

If you don’t have measuring tape or a ruler handy, use the old, traditional method of using your fingers. The width of one finger in the fundal height is roughly equivalent to one week of gestation time. Thus, for a 15 week-old pregnancy, you should expect roughly 15 finger-widths of fundal height.

, As noted above, there are many, many reasons why a woman’s fundal height may not be within the expected 1-4 cm range of the baby’s gestational age in weeks. Some of these reasons are harmless, while others are causes for mild concern. If you seem to be obtaining fundal height measurements that are outside of your expected range, contact a doctor for a definitive fundal height measurement and, if necessary, follow-up tests.

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