Video: Prenatal visits and fundal height measurement can save lives

 

Fundal height measurement is a simple test that can prevent many serious pregnancy complications

 
January 8, 2013

Today we’re going to speak about something that happens in every prenatal visit—or at least it should in any prenatal visit with an OB/GYN—and that’s the fundal height measurement.

I’ll tell you one of the most exciting things that ever happened in my life is when I learned that I was going to be a father—a dad. And, of course, once we learned of this news my wife started having a lot of prenatal visits with her OB/GYN. And I got to accompany her to many of those.

One of the important things that happens on those prenatal visits is an assessment of the mom’s fundal height. Now fundal height is just a medical term that means the height of the mom’s uterus.

Now what’s so important about the fundal height is study after study has shown that the fundal height is directly related to the gestational age of the baby. And that just means how old the baby is.

So if you have a fundal height that is measured to be equal to or greater than the age of the baby, that’s a good indicator that the baby is growing at a healthy and good rate. But if you’re off by three centimeters or so then the doctor needs to rule out a very serious condition that could be life threatening to the baby known as intrauterine growth restriction. What that means is there’s something going wrong in the mom, in the placenta and with the baby, where the baby is just not growing at the proper rate.

It could mean that the mom’s BP is too high, it could mean that there’s not enough nutrients getting to the baby—it could be a variety of things. Some of them could require medication. The mom might need to be placed on bedrest. And if those things don’t work, there could need to be an urgent delivery in a premature way.

It is very important for moms, once they find out they’re pregnant, to immediately call an OB/GYN or a health care provider of their choosing, and do these prenatal visits, because getting the fundal height measured and having those assessments can mean the difference between a healthy and happy baby and family or really a tragedy that could be avoided.

I’m Robert Painter with Painter Law Firm and we’re always here to help you at 281-580-8800 or www.painterfirm.com.

Robert Painter

Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.

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