24 answers

Baby Measuring Smaller than Gestational Age

Hello, I am 39 weeks pregnant (per my Docs estimation from my last period) and my baby is measuring at 37 weeks, two weeks behind. Has this happened to anyone and is there reason for concern? In the beginning my doctor said my due date was April 12, then he switched to April 18, then he went back to the 12th and has been using that the entire time. The baby is moving great, has a good heartbeat and plenty of amniotic fluid. But my doc seems to think that if he hasnt progressed at my next appointment on Monday that they should take him out. I feel like may be he is off on the due date and the baby is just not ready yet. This is my first so I am a very worried. Please let me know if anyone has had this happen and if I should be concerned! Thanks!

What can I do next?

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Congrats on the Baby!
If there are no other reasons for the baby to come out then I would not worry about it. Babies are on their own schedule.
My daughter was right on schedule until my last ultrasound at 36 weeks. Her head was only a 32 week and the rest of her did not go past 34 weeks. Then she was born and her head was still small - they say - and now at almost 3 months her head is in the 25% and the rest of her is 50%. She is fine. she can roll and babble and everything she is suppose to do. I would ask for more information about why they think the baby needs to come out. If they think the cord is being crushed or something with how the baby is laying, ask for exercises or alternative to help move the baby around. Good luck!

With my son, almost 10 years now. He had 3 due date at the beginning of Sept. So I really didnt keep track on my weeks but Dr. did. My water broke in Aug. I went in they induced me and when he came out there like Oh He's only 35 weeks. He was born Aug. 22 Meaning beginning of Sept wasn't his due date but more closer to the end. He is almost 10 and Healthy.

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Let me preface this by saying that I'm not a doctor by any means, but in my personal opinion, your baby will come out when it is good and ready. Some babies just need to cook longer.

I think you're right in your assessment. Ultrasounds are notorious for being not accurate when it comes to measurement, fluid levels, etc. If everything is okay with your baby, heart rate, movement, and you're doing okay, I'd say wait until your little one is ready. Unless you know EXACTLY when conception happened, due dates are merely estimates and I'd do research and follow your gut. Doctors are trained to view everything as a potential emergency...the problem with that is they can cause a lot more problems then help in some cases. I'd say wait.

K., hi, I am a doula here in Phoenix and have a niece who experienced the same thing. As long as your baby is healthy, heart rate is strong, movements are good, etc. I would think that you have nothing to worry about. One thing I have found in this area is that doctors are very quick to 'take' the baby when it hits forty weeks. In some cases the baby is just not quite ready yet. If you are anxious about waiting much beyond your due date there are some things that you can try at home to encourage your labor to start on its own without the help of the hospitals or doctors. The most important thing right now is to relax and enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy. In just a short while you will be holding this amazing child that you have waited so long for. Treasure these last few days and let your body do what it was created for. T..

Hello K.,

This stuff is not an exact art. They can be off on the due date. The measurements can be off for fetal age. When I was 38 weeks pregnant with my second son, I measured 47cm. That just meant I had a lot of amniotic fluid and a big baby. I say you should go with how you feel. If the baby is small and wants to stay in longer and you are ok with that, then tell your doctor that you don't want to be induced or have the baby taken out yet. I would say as long as the baby isn't under stress and the heartbeat is strong and he/she is still growing ok, it should be fine staying in. Go with your gut feeling on this. Your doctor works for you. I would not be too concerned. I was 31 when I had my first son as well. I was 37 when I had my second son. Listen to the reasons your doctor has for taking the baby out, and then tell him your reasons for not wanting him/her to do so. I would say that if the baby isn't under any stress to let him/her stay in as you don't want to go through induction or a C-Section if possible.

I was induced with both of my boys because they were getting too big to fit through and I did not want to go through a C-Section if at all possible. The induction process is not pleasant and makes the contractions more intense and painful then they would otherwise be if you went into labor on your own.

Take care,
D. P.

Your doctor sounds like he is in a bit of a hurry. If everything about your baby (other than size) is normal and there are no other issues, I say keep that baby in as long as it needs to be! Of course, not going past your due date. In my experience, the doctors are usually wrong about the size. My first was 7 weeks early and 4.9 lbs - the doctor told me before the c-sect that he'd only be 3 lbs. My second was 1 week late and 8.3 lbs - again, the doc was wrong - said he was around 7 lbs. These were different doctors. Their measurements are only estimates and I don't know anyone whose baby's measurements came out as the doc said.
Good luck either way!

I would not be too worried. That is not good for the baby at all. I was enduced at 36 weeks due to having high blood pressure. My little girl was just fine. She was 6 pounds and 18 inches long. She is now a year and half and doing just wonderful. She is a little tiny still, but both my husband and I are short, so she probably will be too.

But, they say that as long as you can go past 32 weeks, everything is usually fine. No need to worry.

And good luck - Cheers,

some of us have little peanuts.. my gestational measure was 46 at 37 weeks - hello?? I am like 5' nothing - so - dont stress, just have good communication with your doctor, and express your concerns.. :0) congrats on the little one.. they are such a blessing!!!

The gestational age is always two weeks behind. You obviously got pregnant two weeks after your period, though they call the age from the period. At any rate, there are small babies and big ones and some come early and some late, so the two weeks wouldn't make much difference unless he threatened to deliver VERY early, which time has already passed for you. Doctors are not infallible, either. I told my doctor that my fourth child was due on Feb. 8th, but he said it was too big and would be born Jan. 8th. My son was born, finally, on Feb. 23rd! And he was my biggest son - 9 lb, 7 oz. (my others were in the 6 to 8 lb range). Of course, this was back in the 70s and I had one of the 1st sonograms of the day and they didn't have as much experience with them then as they do now. Still, they are not infallible, and you will be okay.

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