Friday, February 05, 2010

Measuring your Fundus

My original, brilliant plan was to post informative videos/posts on Thursdays about questions I get about UP/UC. It would last until I ran out of ideas (you know, two weeks). So yesterday, I got out the iSight camera and attempted to vlog, "How to measure your fundus" except Margaret crawled all over me the entire time. Unfortunately I have to make the video while she's awake because when she's asleep, I keep the blinds closed and the room dark and so it would be hard to get video.

So without further ado:
How to Measure Your Fundus while your Toddler is Crawling on You.

It's kind of long and if it's too confusing, here are the main points:

  • Fundal height is how "tall" your uterus is.
  • Your uterus feels grainy/like muscle (because that's what it is). There's a point where you can no longer feel it as you "walk" your fingers up your abdomen. The point where you can't feel the muscle anymore is the fundus.
  • At around 20 weeks, the measurement in centimeters is supposed to start corresponding with the number of weeks you are pregnant. "Supposed to" is vague. Consider anything within 4 centimeters/weeks to be "normal."
  • Things that can affect fundal height: multiples, position of baby, inaccurate pregnancy dating, gestational diabetes, the fact that every mom and baby is different and grow at different rates, etc.
  • Fundal height doesn't diagnose, but can be useful if you think you might have multiples, if you are worried the baby isn't growing, have a feeling your dates are off, etc.
  • Once you've found your fundus a few times, it gets easier.
  • Toddlers like iSight cameras.
  • Heather's special tip that's not included in the video: I find that it's easiest to find my fundus when I'm having a Braxton Hicks contraction. It's pretty obvious what is muscle and what isn't when the muscle is contracting. I've also found that if I think about it hard enough, I can induce a BH contraction, which is handy .
Well, I hope that was helpful. I also plan on doing a few more of these sorts of posts. A sort of "How to UP/UC" series. Next week, look for it on Thursday.


  1. This is awesome! I always wondered how to measure my own fundus. It's kind of too late now, but I love that you've done this as a resource for other moms. Go Heather!

  2. This is sort of an inquisition, but it's about UP/UC: After having had one UP/UC, is there anything you plan to do differently this time? (I'm sure you wouldn't mind a shorter labor, but that is not exactly something you can control.) Was there ever a time during your first UP/UC experience that you felt that you really might need medical attention?

  3. I laughed through the entire video! I think my toddler is about the same age as Margaret! They have a lot of those same toddler mannerisms! I loved it. I think, considering, the instructional was actually pretty good. I have a hard time feeling my fundus right now. I don't know if it is because I am just not practiced enough at finding it, or I'm not far enough along (but being my second pregnancy, that is not likely that I couldn't feel it by now), or maybe I just have too much padding to get through. But, I do like that you said you should be on the floor or very sturdy bed. I didn't realize that would make much of a difference! I'm way excited for your "How to UP/UC" series to continue!!


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