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Parameters of the abdomen during pregnancy: size, shape, circumference

At the fifth month of pregnancy, the woman’s tummy begins to grow vigorously. If at 16-18 weeks the tum was tiny and visually imperceptible under a layer of clothing, then with the beginning of the 20th it grows, acquiring a peculiar shape.

It is from the 20th week on each scheduled examination, the gynecologist takes measurements of the abdomen during pregnancy, and then observes the dynamics in the direction of increase / decrease. Along with the measurements of the tum, the measurement of the height of the standing of the bottom of the uterus is reproduced. Based on the indices of the circumference of the abdomen and the size of the uterus, the doctor will determine the fertilization period, body weight and the development of the baby as a whole, suggests the appearance of a lot or low water. In identifying the slightest deviations sends to ultrasound.

What determines the size of the abdomen during pregnancy

Often we notice that the tummies in pregnant women of various sizes and configurations, even if the girls have an identical period of pregnancy. What determines the size of the tummy during pregnancy and why the volume, shape of tums so different?

The size of the abdomen, its shape, growth rate - it's all individually. Yet there are factors affecting its dimensions. Namely:

  1. the constitution of the body of a woman
  2. total weight gain during pregnancy,
  3. baby weight
  4. the number of fruits
  5. the location of the child
  6. Amount of amniotic fluid
  7. the state of the abdominals,
  8. the number of pregnancies.
The original landmark that determines the size of the abdomen during pregnancy is the constitution of the girl’s body, its anatomical structure. So, girls of slim build and narrow hips will be owners of a larger in size and volume of the abdomen than full women with wide pelvic bones. Slender women boast a protruding belly a little earlier than plump girls. But the owners of the wide pelvis, the generic activity and the process itself, as experts explain, are easier, faster.

The size of the abdomen of a pregnant woman depends on the overall weight gain. Girls who hold the opinion “if in a position - you need to eat for two,” gain weight more rapidly and it happens, beat records in the size of a tum. Pregnant women who follow a healthy balanced diet have a neat little belly. Experts explain that in the first trimester, a woman needs to gain about 2 kg, then, up to the ninth month, 0.5 kg per week. At the finish line, the 9th month, the weight should no longer increase.

The scale of the abdomen of pregnant women depends on the height and weight of the toddler. As mentioned above, moms with a good appetite, are set to fatten the baby, especially in the last months of pregnancy. Due to the large size of the puzozhitel, the abdomen of such women is larger. In fact, as doctors will say, the “fattening” child, especially in the last periods, a woman performs a “disservice” to herself and the baby. So, as with a large amount of fruit, it is more difficult to give birth on your own. Often in such cases, resort to surgical intervention.

The number of fetuses in the womb also affects the size of the abdomen. With multiple babies, the tummy grows faster than singleton, and at week 28 it can reach the prenatal size of an ordinary pregnancy, and by 30-32 weeks - the maximum value.

The location of the baby in the womb (the way it attaches to the wall of the uterus) affects the size of the tum. A belly will look bigger if the baby attaches to the front wall of the uterus, if it is attached to the back wall - more carefully.

The amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus is a factor determining the size of the abdomen. In gynecology, there are the concepts of "high water" and "low water" - excess / lack of fluid for the existence of the fetus. Based on the amount of amniotic water, the size of the tummy of future mothers is formed.

Physical data women also affect the size of the abdomen. Girls with strong abdominals have a smaller belly than pregnant women with weak muscles. In addition, physically prepared women in labor much faster “push” the baby out of themselves in the process of childbirth.

Coverage of the abdomen depends on the number of pregnancies. The uterus primiparous smaller, more elastic, so the tummy in this embodiment will be neater and small. In the "experienced" mummies, due to the increase in the uterus and its weak tone, the tum will be larger with each new pregnancy.

How to measure the abdominal circumference during pregnancy

The procedure for measuring the volume of the abdomen is more expedient to carry out from the 20th week. At this stage, the stomach becomes round, and at each reception at the gynecologist, measurements will be taken from it, and the data will be entered into the exchange card. Measuring abdominal circumference - a very important point of pregnancy. Based on this information, as well as settling on data about the height of the uterus, the gynecologist calculates the estimated value of the fetus and monitors the dynamics of its growth.

To properly measure the circumference of the abdomen during pregnancy, the following manipulations should be carried out:

  • empty the urea (for the most accurate indicators, measurements are carried out with an empty bladder),
  • take a horizontal position with straightened legs,
  • strip the abdominal area
  • using measuring tape to measure.
Tape the belly belly: at the back of the back of the curvature of the waist, and in front at the level of the umbilical cavity.

As already mentioned, one of these volume of the tum is not enough to fully assess the growth of the baby. Required measurements of the value of the bottom of the uterus. You need to do the following steps:

  • empty your bladder,
  • fall on a horizontal surface
  • by measuring tape.
The measuring device must flow from the beginning of the pubis to the protruding point of the bottom of the uterus.

The indices of the circumference of the abdomen and the height of the uterus floor, the gynecologist calculates the estimated mass of the child: multiplies the indicators (coolant x VSDM).

Norms of abdominal circumference during pregnancy by week: abnormalities

According to generally accepted standards, from the 20th week the abdomen volume during pregnancy is 70-75 cm. The average increase in circumference is about 2-3 cm every 14 days. That is, by the 30th week the size of the tum will reach 82-87 cm, and by 36-38 weeks - up to 100 cm.

If the size of the abdomen does not correspond to the gestation period, abnormalities or complications in carrying a child are possible.

Increased abdominal circumferences during pregnancy occur if:

  1. the amount of amniotic fluid exceeds the allowable rate (occurs when infection or diabetes mellitus),
  2. multiple pregnancy,
  3. large fruit
  4. failure to follow diet, diet,
  5. wrong location of the fruit,
  6. narrow hips.
Lower abdominal volume norms during pregnancy occur when:

  1. reducing the amount of amniotic fluid (occurs during a post-term pregnancy),
  2. too wide pelvis
  3. child hypotrophy (lagging height, weight, development of the baby).

What affects the size of the abdomen?

Experts in the course of the measurements are guided by generally accepted standards, but at the same time take into account the fact that the indicators may differ significantly in each case.

Among the list of factors affecting the change in abdominal circumference, the following are distinguished:

  • body of the future mother,
  • the rate of weight gain - many pregnant women are distinguished by increased appetite,
  • fetal size,
  • previa
  • the amount of anatomical fluid.

In mothers who are prone to corpulence, roundness may not be noticeable until the very moment of birth, while girls with narrow pelvis and fragile physique are faced with a change in the volume of the abdomen at the very beginning of the second trimester. The volume of the abdomen with multiple pregnancies increases quickly enough, because an interesting situation can become noticeable to others much earlier.

The size of the abdomen may not increase systematically, but irregularly. Experts begin to monitor the dynamics of the addition of centimeters in the abdominal circumference not immediately, but, as a rule, from the 17th to the 20th week of pregnancy.

The largest abdominal circumference is at week 38. By this time all the most important stages of the formation of the fetus are completed, and the bottom of the uterus reaches its peak. You should not panic if your tummy became smaller at 38 weeks, most likely the baby took a different position, because he is preparing for an early meeting with mommy. Immediately before the birth date, the height of standing of the uterus floor decreases and a "abdominal prolapse" occurs. Read more about lowering the abdomen →

How to measure the belly?

It is important to measure the tummy correctly, because the pronounced error can be a serious cause for panic.

Women during pregnancy are particularly sensitive, and this is natural. The reason for concern may be a deviation of a couple of centimeters. Of course, in this case, you need to calm down. Because all indicators are individual.

Measurements produced centimeter tape as follows:

  1. Expectant mother need to stand up straight.
  2. Place the ribbon at navel level.
  3. It is better to measure at the same time.

You can not measure the circumference of the abdomen at the most prominent points - this is not true.

If the values ​​obtained are somewhat different from the norm, there is no reason for panic. This is due to the fact that many factors affect the change in coolant, for example, the amount of anatomical fluid. This volume can vary significantly throughout the entire period of gestation.

The reason for alarm may be a significant change in the parameters immediately before delivery. Such deviations may indicate that the presentation of the change, and during childbirth may be difficult. Accurately determine the position of the baby will be able to gynecologist, who, if there are contraindications to independent delivery, will be able to timely determine the need for a cesarean section.

In any case, serious deviations of abdominal girth indicators from the norm are a reason to visit a gynecologist. The doctor after the inspection will be able to refute the existence of reasons for excitement.

Belly growth

The question of what caused the growth of the tummy of a future mom during pregnancy seems very simple. Of course, the planned development of the fetus, but this is only one of the factors. The tummy grows in all pregnant women, but not at the same rate. This factor can tell a lot to the gynecologist.

The volume of the abdomen during pregnancy begins to change at different times. Such changes are related to the structure of the woman’s body, the functioning of the intestines and the existing layer of subcutaneous fat. The change in abdominal circumference in the first trimester of pregnancy is not associated with changes in the size of the uterus, the fetus is still very small.

The following factors influence the change in the size of the tummy:

  • increased gas formation - during the process of digesting food changes in pregnant women,
  • propensity to overeating,
  • the formation of edema.

The change in the size of the uterus occurs in all pregnant women almost the same. The fetus begins to grow slowly a few weeks after conception. At the same time, the uterus itself also increases, as well as the volume of amniotic fluid. The rate of change of these indicators during each examination is assessed by a gynecologist. Based on these data, a specialist gives an opinion on the plannedness of the course of pregnancy.

In the first trimester, the uterus is located inside the pelvis and does not rise above the pubic bone, which is why the stomach is not noticeable to others. Before the 12th week, the doctor assesses the size of the uterus during the examination, and after this period the organ crosses the boundary of the pubic bone and can be palpated through the abdominal wall.

In most cases, the height of the uterus is proportional to the gestational period in obstetric weeks.

From about week 12, the doctor will monitor the height of the uterus with a special measuring tape. These are important indicators, as any abnormalities may indicate the presence of serious problems with pregnancy.

The uterus begins to grow rapidly from the 16th week of pregnancy. At this time, Mommy’s abdomen becomes noticeable, and after 21-22 weeks, it begins to be even stronger. The expression of the manifestation of the tummy largely depends on the structural features of the pelvis, the tensile properties of the abdominal walls and the presentation of the fetus in the uterine cavity.

Among the list of main factors affecting the growth rate, emit:

  • condition of abdominal muscles,
  • structural features of the pelvic bones,
  • hereditary factor.

Strong and dense abdominal muscles are difficult to stretch, and therefore the tummy of mummies who are fond of sports, appears much later. For the same reason, with repeated pregnancies, the abdomen becomes noticeable earlier - the muscles are already stretched. The tummy may be less noticeable in women full-bodied, with a wide pelvis.

The factor of genetic predisposition also affects the timing of the abdomen in a future mom during pregnancy. Late increase in coolant is often observed in succession in several generations, while women give birth to healthy children.

Abdominal circumference

The abdominal circumference during weekly pregnancy is one of the most important and monitored indicators. It is calculated according to the duration of pregnancy and compared with tabular indicators. Measurement of abdominal circumference is made from 20 weeks.

Specialist actions

It is necessary to visit the gynecologist before, during and after pregnancy. Only in this way can a responsible woman be knowledgeable about her health. This will help her to avoid trouble in the future. It is especially important to visit the hospital in a timely manner when the physiological signs of the “interesting” situation become obvious. The doctor has the ability to monitor the normal course of pregnancy. At the reception, the gynecologist does an examination, conducts a survey, and assigns tests. The doctor also determines the abdominal circumference by week of pregnancy and the height of the uterus. For measurements, he uses a centimeter tape. After a comprehensive diagnosis, a specialist determines whether a pregnant woman or her unborn child has health problems.

It is important for women to take care of themselves and regularly visit the clinic. According to parameters such as abdominal circumference by week of pregnancy and the height of the bottom of the uterus, you can determine the approximate weight of the fetus. To do this, use a special formula. The values ​​of the circumference of the abdomen and the height of the bottom of the uterus multiply and get the mass of the baby in grams. Only a specialist can make the measurements correctly.

Inspection and measurement results

According to the results of diagnostics, the absence or presence of pathologies is determined. Do not be afraid if the abdomen measurements do not coincide with the book values. Every pregnant woman has her own physiological characteristics. The abdominal circumference by weeks of gestation within the limits determined by experts, indicates the normal development of the fetus. A significant deviation from the book indicators in a big way can say that the baby weighs a lot, the woman has high water content or has more than one child. If the abdomen is very small, this can mean a delay in the development of the fetus. All problems are determined only by a doctor. In any case, the abdominal circumference for weeks of pregnancy should increase in accordance with established standards. Deviations of measurement results from book values ​​can be within a few centimeters (plus or minus).

How to measure abdominal circumference

Many women want to know their new options at home. The abdominal circumference during pregnancy is measured when the expectant mother lies on her back. If the uterus is in good shape, the results will be unreliable. Therefore, the body of a pregnant woman during measurements should be relaxed, legs - straightened, heels - touching the floor. The tape is pushed under the back, covering the zone of the vertebral cavity and navel. Not higher and not lower.

Independently measure the abdominal circumference during pregnancy in recent weeks can be problematic. It is better to connect to this case husband. It is not necessary to independently evaluate the results and consult the scientific literature. Only a doctor can make measurements correctly. A responsible woman must be trusted by a specialist.

Measurement of the fetus on the circumference of the abdomen during pregnancy

To diagnose the development of the baby in the womb, such modern technologies as ultrasound are used. Also for these purposes, doctors conduct visual examinations of pregnant women, prescribe the delivery of various tests (blood, urine, feces). At a consultation with a gynecologist, a woman must go without fail. This can help the specialist to determine the baby’s disease, if it is, in the early stages and solve the problem in a timely manner. For example, the assessment of such a parameter as the abdominal circumference of the fetus by weeks, reveals a developmental delay. But a qualified doctor will never rely on the results of a single examination and prescribe a number of additional tests before the diagnosis is made.

In order to avoid future problems such as delayed fetal development, the expectant mother should walk more often, eat right and follow all the instructions of the specialist. This will help her, measuring the abdominal circumference of the fetus for weeks in the clinic, to return to a calm state (since everything will be normal). Однако при четком диагнозе падать духом нельзя – задержку развития малыша в утробе матери можно лечить. Для этого следует принимать специальные лекарственные препараты и витамины. Но только по назначению врача.

What data to rely on

For the norms of circumference of the abdomen of the future mothers taken quite conditional values. Their individuality depends on many factors. Inexperienced young women can be very nervous that their parameters do not meet book standards. This is not worth doing. Excitement and mood swings negatively affect the nervous system of the fetus. Therefore, it is better to contact an experienced specialist and fully trust him. Every woman has certain physical characteristics. This factor is necessarily taken into account by the doctor. The task of the pregnant woman is to keep calm in any situation.

Parameters of norms measuring abdominal circumference

In the 7th month of pregnancy, the fetus begins to actively gain weight. Therefore, the abdominal circumference of a woman reaches the highest value. At this stage of pregnancy (third trimester) may appear on the skin stretch marks. For many women, this phenomenon is absent. It all depends on the physiology. The dimensions of the circumference of the abdomen and the height of the bottom of the uterus according to the norm are shown in the table below.

Data may relate to women of normal stature weighing up to 70 kg. Permissible deviations of 1-4 cm in plus or minus. The doctor begins to measure the abdominal circumference of a woman at the reception, starting from the 20th week of her pregnancy. Previously, this diagnosis is not carried out because the fetus does not have sufficient weight, and the amount of amniotic fluid is minimal. The result of measuring the circumference of the abdomen for a period of less than 20 weeks of gestation does not mean anything.

The effect of repeated delivery on the physiology

It is worth noting that the norms of abdominal circumference for weeks differ significantly in pregnant women again and pervorodok. Especially if the difference between the permissions of women who already have children, a small - 2-3 years. The abdominal muscles are still weakened, and the parameters may be different from the first time. The presentation of the fetus, the age of the woman herself, her weight and structure also matter. Usually experienced women know about it and trust doctors.

But the former childbirth does not absolve a woman from responsibility for the next pregnancy. She also needs constant observation, given that her age can be 30-35 years. Well, if a woman regained her abdominal muscles after childbirth.

Late terms of pregnancy. Stomach

The uterus stops growing, reaching almost to the sternum. This happens in the last weeks of pregnancy and means that a woman’s body is ready to release a new man. The very future mother should not be afraid of stopping the growth of the abdomen at this time. It can't be forever. In the last weeks of pregnancy, the baby takes the final position - down the head. This means that he is ready to be born.

In the third trimester of pregnancy, the height of the bottom of the uterus and the abdominal circumference also change. 33 weeks is the time when a woman's body begins to actively prepare for childbirth. The stomach starts to go down. The future mother has to endure her own ailments, not related to the activity of the baby. As the child changes its position, the woman’s center of gravity shifts, and there is a risk of falling. At this time, a pregnant should be very careful. The doctor will give the necessary recommendations.


The state of pregnancy causes a woman joy and anxiety at the same time. No wonder they say that such women are inadequate in their actions and illogical in their desires. Constant comparisons with other mothers, in particular, on the question of what the norm of the circumference of the abdomen during pregnancy is the norm, plague them and thus contribute to the emergence of a stressful state. It is simply impossible to convince women to listen only to the leading doctor. Therefore, the patience of loved ones, and most importantly - the husband, must be limitless. Soon mommy will take a completely different care.

Why does the abdominal circumference increase during pregnancy?

During pregnancy many times the size of the fruit shale increases (uterus), and its increase occurs not only due to the growth of the fetus, but also due to an increase in the placenta and volume of amniotic fluid and fetal membranes.

If a in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the uterus remains behind the pelvic bones and is not palpable even during examination in the gynecologist's office, then by the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, its bottom rises above the pubic joint.

From this point on, during each visit to the antenatal clinic, the doctor will measure the height of the bottom of the uterus and the abdominal circumference of the future mom - for this, even in modern conditions, the usual measuring tape is used.

Focusing on your notes, the doctor can evaluate the developmental dynamics of the fetus - abdominal circumference during pregnancy increases progressively.

Being guided by the received indicators and comparing them with average norms, the gynecologist can not only determine the expected duration of pregnancy and even determine the expected mass of the fetus.

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What is the norm, and what does it depend on?

Surely concept of norm in the case of talking about the size of the circumference of the abdomen is relatively relative - the doctor assesses not only the measurement result, but also the constitution of his patient.

If before the onset of pregnancy, the woman’s weight exceeded the normal values, then it is possible to focus on the results measured with a centimeter tape only with great caution, because the measurement will take into account the thickness of the layer of subcutaneous fat on the abdomen.

That is why the doctor takes measurements at each visit to a pregnant antenatal clinic - abdominal circumference should increase over time.

The highest value of this indicator reaches in the second half of the third trimeter of pregnancy (from 80 cm at 32 weeks to 95-100 cm to 36-38 weeks).

Simultaneously with an increase in the abdominal circumference, the height of the uterus floor also increases - such a friendly increase in these indicators is observed up to the 36th week of the gestational period, when the uterus rises to the edge of the costal arch.

After this point in the longitudinal positioning of the baby in the womb there is a lowering of the presenting part into the pelvic cavity and the height of the uterus floor decreases, and the abdominal circumference continues to increase - such changes indicate the approach of the date of birth.

What factors affect the size of the abdomen?

Abdominal circumference - an indicator for each individual woman.

First of all it is affected by the addition of the body of the future mom. In some women, the tummy quickly becomes noticeable, while others until late periods can hide their pregnancy in the folds of clothing. For women with narrow hips, the tummy will grow faster than for owners of a wide pelvis.

There will be different sizes in women with a strong, trained press and women with a loose belly. In the latter case, the volume will be greater, as in re-giving birth in comparison with those who have the first pregnancy.

The size of the abdomen in a pregnant woman also depends on how quickly a woman gains weight. For those who do not limit themselves in food and actively arrives in weight, as a rule, the abdominal circumference increases rapidly. Do not forget that those extra pounds can add complexity to the course of pregnancy. In addition, an actively gaining weight moms and babies will be larger in size, and this will further increase the tummy.

In addition, the circumference of the abdomen affects the amount of amniotic fluid, which can fluctuate even during the day. This is because the amniotic fluid is constantly updated. A small or, on the contrary, an excess amount of amniotic fluid is considered a pathology that requires the application of urgent measures.

Also to the sharp fluctuations in the size of the circumference of the abdomen can lead to the fact that the baby has significantly changed its position. This may be important in the later periods, when the mode of delivery will depend on the position of the fetus in the womb.

Another factor that affects the abdominal circumference is multiple pregnancy. In this case, already at 28 weeks, the tummy will look the same as at 40 weeks during normal pregnancy.

In the early stages, when the fetus is still small, gas formation or increased puffiness can influence the size of the abdominal circumference, which will also serve as important information for the doctor when managing pregnancy.

Do not be afraid if after 38 weeks the abdominal circumference decreases. This occurs as a result of "lowering the abdomen" before the upcoming birth.

For what and how to measure the circumference of the abdomen?

The size of the future mom's tummy can tell a lot to the gynecologist leading the pregnancy. They begin to measure it from the 20th week on each visit to the doctor and compare it with the table values. This makes it possible to trace the pace of development of the fetus and notice deviations in time.

In order for the gynecologist to correctly measure the abdominal circumference, before taking it is necessary to empty the bladder.

The woman is placed on a flat hard surface and measure the girth of the abdomen with a tape. The abdominal muscles should be relaxed.

In addition, the gynecologist measures the height of the bottom of the uterus and draws conclusions by comparing both these values.

Norms of abdominal circumference by week of pregnancy

To measure the volume of the tummy makes sense after 20 weeks, when it is actively growing. Normally, every two weeks, this figure increases by about 2-3 cm. The table shows the data that are considered normal, but remember that this is an approximate parameter. Considering these figures, it is necessary to take into account the individual characteristics of a woman and the dynamics of development in general.

How to measure abdominal circumference?

First of all, the abdominal circumference of a pregnant woman, regardless of the gestational age, should be measured only in a horizontal position - so the indicators are not affected by the state of the spine and the possible weakening of the tissues of the anterior abdominal wall.

Secondly, measurements should be carried out only after bladder emptying. - This ensures that the “extra” volume does not affect the measurement results, especially when under dynamic observation.

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When do you need to sound the alarm?

If measurements of the abdominal circumference in a pregnant woman are carried out continuously, at each visit of the expectant mother to the antenatal clinic, then the gynecologist can rely on their results.

Equally unfavorable and an excessive increase in the circumference of the abdomen, and its decrease, which does not correspond to the expected duration of pregnancy.

If the abdominal circumference is more than normal

In those cases when, at the next visit of a pregnant woman to the antenatal clinic, abdominal circumference, then additional examination is needed to detect possible causes of polyhydramnios (intrauterine infections and severe fetal malformations).

Besides, if after 38 weeks of gestation, the abdominal circumference is found to exceed 100 cm, an immediate examination of the patient is necessary to identify the lateral location of the fetus in the uterus - this condition is not evidence of pregnancy pathology, but means the possibility of complications in the first and second stages of labor.

In this case, the pregnant must hospitalize immediately to the hospital of the maternity hospital to select the optimal delivery tactics - most often in this case, surgery is necessary (cesarean section) or interventions directly during the birth process, which is currently used very rarely.

If the abdominal circumference is less than normal

In those cases when the abdominal circumference lags behind from normal indicators, timely examination of a pregnant woman helps in a timely manner to detect severe degrees of placental insufficiency leading to fetal hypotrophy.

In addition, the cause of insufficient size of the abdomen may be lack of water, often accompanying severe gestosis of the second half of pregnancy, or occurring during replanning (true or false).

If a measuring the circumference of the abdomen after 30 weeks held regularly and at the next measurement a sharp decrease in the index is found in combination with the weakening of fetal movements or their complete absence, it is necessary immediate hospitalization pregnant in the hospital - this situation often indicates the development of severe complications (up to antenatal fetal death).

Like many indicators determined during pregnancy, abdominal circumference is valuable only when it is consistently monitored at the doctor’s office.

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