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Sometimes a woman misses her menstruation for another reason, and then gets pregnant later.
This woman could really be less pregnant than you thought, so the uterus is smaller than you expect.
When you have studied this session, you should be able to: 10.1 Define and use correctly all of the key words printed in bold.
(SAQ 10.1) 10.2 Know how to measure fundal height using the finger method and a soft measuring tape.
Healthy signs At about three months (13-14 weeks), the top of the uterus is usually just above the mother’s pubic bone (where her pubic hair begins).
At about five months (20-22 weeks), the top of the uterus is usually right at the mother’s bellybutton (umbilicus or navel).
Counting this way makes most pregnancies 40 weeks long (or you can say a normal gestation is 40 weeks).
Explain to her what you are going to do (and why) before you begin touching her abdomen. Walk your fingers up the side of her abdomen (Figure 10.1) until you feel the top of her abdomen under the skin. You can feel the top by curving your fingers gently into the abdomen.
Figure 10.1 With the woman lying on her back, begin by finding the top of the uterus with your fingers.
To overcome these limitations, it is recommended that you measure fundal height using a soft tape measure if you have one, as described next.
You can use this method when the top of the uterus grows as high as the woman’s bellybutton.
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In this study session, you will learn how to carry out an important measurement that should be done at every antenatal visit — measuring the height of the top of the mother’s uterus as a way of assessing whether her baby is growing normally.