22 answers

Measuring Small at 22 Weeks

Hi Mamas!
I am 22 weeks pregnant and just had a doctor appointment yesterday. Ofcourse, I have my questions now, after leaving, and instead of calling the office this time, I thought I would try you all. I have a son, and he was a pretty big baby-- 8 lbs, 15 ozs, 23 in. Throughout my pregnancy with him, I was always measuring big.... sometimes as much as 5-6 weeks ahead. I also gained 54 lbs while pregnant with him, and at 22 weeks, was probably up 30 lbs. Yesterday, when I went to the doctor, my belly, which should be measuring at about 22 weeks, was only at 19, almost 20, I hadn't gained ANY weight in the last 5 weeks, and have only gained 8lbs total. I am worried now. Have any of you measured small, and was everything ok? I guess I am nervous about it, because my daughter was stillborn and they said she was small for her gestational age, but I just had a level two ultrasound 2 weeks ago and the genetic counselor said the baby was at that time, measuring a week ahead of where I should be. Do any of you know if it is possible for me to gain a small amount of weight, have my belly measure small, but still have a big baby in there? I just know that ultrasound isn't an exact science and measurements could be off. My mind plays so many games with me!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My daughter was born over 8 pounds. I was small at first as well but the heartbeat and untrasounds were always fine. And I lose weight when pregnant so my weight was not going up either until the last trimester. Since my diet totally changed--couldn't stand sweet stuff, totally cut down on sugar--the doctor wasn't worried about it. Look at what you are eating, is there anything you cut out because you are pregnant? This could be it.

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The funny thing is every pregnancy is different. I've had three children and every time it was different. I had different symptoms, different problems, different cravings, I even carried differently.

My first child was 8lbs 14 oz and 21 1/2 inches long. I gained 50 some pounds. I was very sick for several months, couldn't eat chicken, and craved everything super hot.

Second child was 7lbs 3oz 21 inches long. I measured much smaller with her, but still gained 40 some pounds. I didn't gain weight for a long time until right at the end of my pregnancy. I'm older and had to have stage II ultrasounds to check for heart defects and such. She was a healthy baby.

My third child was 8lbs 15oz and 21 1/2 inches long. I carried very low from early on and looked like I had dropped as early as my fourth month. I wasn't sick much, I craved tomato based foods like mad and omelets. I went from 157 to 194. I had extra heart beats that drove me nuts until I started taking magnesium (250 mg to start and then that twice a day) Then I developed sleep apnea that was so bad I felt like I was suffocating every time I fell asleep. The last eight weeks or so were a living hell.

I also had two miscarriages between the second and the third. Both of those pregnancies were different. I found out I have a clotting disorder called PAI 1 and had to inject Lovenox everyday.

If the stage II ultrasound was good then don't fret. I have a sister-in-law that had twins and barely gained 30 lbs. She looked like a macaroni that swallowed an olive. Her babies were a little early but healthy. They are advanced for their age now.

Me on the other hand...I always look like I ate other pregnant women.

1 mom found this helpful

I also experienced this. I am rather petite & my first daughter was 6 lbs 5 oz at birth but there were no issues during my pregnancy with her. With my second pregnancy, I was quite surprised (ok...completely freaked out) when the doctor told me I was measuring small for how far along I was. I ended up going for a level II ultrasound to make sure everything was ok. After that, I got an ultrasound at every office visit to make sure that my fluid levels looked ok. I gained about 30 lbs during my pregnancy but a lot of that weight gain was in the first half of my pregnancy. My doctor was not overly concerned because the baby was getting a little bigger each week.

I just want to tell you that despite all of my worry (and I did worry even though my doctors were monitoring everything very closely), I gave birth (a week after my due date) without any complications to a healthy beautiful little baby girl. She was little (6 lbs 2 oz) but very HEALTHY & STRONG. She is now 11 months old & doing great despite all of my worry. Please talk to your doctor & remain calm (I know it's hard!!). Best of luck to you & your baby!!

Your situation is nothing like mine but I thought perhaps, it might ease your mind.

I am 28 weeks pregnant... I have NOT gained even one pound. Rather I have had chronic diarrhea (which they can not figure out why) and I lost 10 pounds, thankfully I just gained the rest of that back.

All the while, I "look" small from the outside but when they measure me I measure 1-2 weeks ahead! I wonder how can that be? I look tiny and haven't gained a thing.

I too had a Level II ultrasound and "he" looked perfect. All growth was on target.

My Doctor had to remind me that our bodies are "protectors" and we will go through hell first before it affects the baby. He also told me that the position of the baby and how my uterus has stretched plays a big role in how I measure. Basically he said, on the inside, I am "All Baby."

Obviously your doctor knows how many weeks you are, and I believe if he/she was concerned about the differential something would have been said. As for the lack of weight gain, that too, if they were concerned they would have said something.

My advice, relax and monitor your activity - don't do too much (easier said than done) and see what the next OB appointment brings.

Good Luck to you and that baby! :)

I measured small my entire pregnancy, I was always a few centimeters behind, and I gave birth to a beautiful 8lb 6oz 21in baby girl. The doctors and nurses were shocked I just hid her well.

Do not worry. Due dates are just guess dates. You may be a little off. Every pregnancy is different. You may be more active this time around running after children you already have and just life's stresses. Your baby and your body are perfect for each other. I am a certified birth instructor and come across this often All the babies were fine. Just think positive and everything will be fine.

My daughter was born over 8 pounds. I was small at first as well but the heartbeat and untrasounds were always fine. And I lose weight when pregnant so my weight was not going up either until the last trimester. Since my diet totally changed--couldn't stand sweet stuff, totally cut down on sugar--the doctor wasn't worried about it. Look at what you are eating, is there anything you cut out because you are pregnant? This could be it.

I don't know much about ultrasounds but.....I'd call the doctor and talk to the office. I do know that my niece lost 20 lbs during her pregnacy and had a very healthy baby!!

Hi S. -

I gained 25 pounds in my first two trimesters and not a single pound in my third. I had an 8lb1oz guy who kept growing even though I didn't. I am sure the doctor would have let you know if the lack of weight gain was cause for concern. Best wishes to you and your family for a happy healthy holiday.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter. My sister lost her baby girl at 39 weeks. After that, she switched to a high risk specialist. Most doctors will roll out the red carpet for any mother who has had a stillborn baby. You might want to ask for more frequent ultrasounds just for reassurance. It sounds like there are a lot of mommies who measured small and gave birth to perfectly healthy babies, so there is probably nothing to worry about -- especially since your level II ultrasound came back fine. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. I'm sure this is going to be the longest 9 months of your life...

Hi S..

My measurements were also always 1 or 2 cm smaller than expected. My OB told me it was because my baby was lying so low in my pelvis. Towards the end of my pregnancy, her head was already almost fully engaged. I gained 32 pounds total by the end of my pregnancy and even though my measurements were smaller than expected, my daughter was a pretty good sized baby when she was born-- 7 pounds 8 ounces. I know it's hard not too worry, but hopefully this will help you worry less. And if you are really concerned, please do not hesitate to call your OB's office.

I don't know how helpful this is, but my first was by far my largest (9lb, 8oz) and they got smaller from there (down to 7lb, 6oz).
Hope that eases your mind a bit!

Dear S., put your mind at ease and call your Doctor. Tell him/her all you concerns and maybe they can do an ultrasound to show you everything is fine. Try to relax and call the Doctor. Thats why we pay them. Call him anytime you have any questions or concerns. Good Luck and I am sure everything is fine.

With my son everything measured out so-so throughout the pregnancy although it seemed like it changed month to month.... I had gained close to 90 pounds and they estimated him to be a 9+ pound baby. He was only 7.4

Now with my daughter, I had lost 30 pounds in the first 4 months. I am overweight so the Dr was not concerned at all. I did have to go for 20+ ultrasounds through the pregnancy but that was because I was high risk. At 5 months I put back on ALL 30 pounds I lost and over the course of the next 2 months I put on another 20- ALL water weight (I even had stretch marks on my ankles and was the poster child for barefoot and pregnant). In the end I had my daughter 6 weeks early and she was a whopping 8 pounds!!!! She was the biggest baby in the NICU and for the most part healthy with minor breathing and glucose complications.

I would give the Dr a call to let him reassure you and answer your questions exactly. Does he know about your Angel baby? If so I would assume he is monitoring you closely, if not time to start then.

I will keep you in my prayers!
Blessings to you and yours!

I measured small at 24 weeks and it was not a problem. However, when I went for my 32 week appointment, my measuring small was more of issue (based on the percentile the baby was in at that point). I was induced at 37 weeks and gave birth to a healthy, happy 4 lb 7 oz boy who required no additional time in the hospital. However, I do recommend calling the doctor and stating your questions and concern. I saw my doctor at least 1 to 2 x week and then the specialist once a week so I was always asking questions. Asking will reduce the stress on you by at least getting the questions off your chest. Good luck.

My level two and measurement at the Dr's office were different. Different machines, different measures....

I also ran small throughout the whole pregnancy and ended up giving birth to a beautiful 6.15 oz girl. I seriously was always 2-3 under, and my midwife told me not to worry unless I measured more than 3 under, otherwise, I was just going to have a 7 lb baby, not a 9.

At 22 weeks, I think I had only gained around 10 lbs. I ended up at 35 lb, but most of my weight came later.

I wouldn't worry until or unless your Dr gets worried. Otherwise, there is a lot of fluctuation with these things.

Hi S.,

First of all, I would like to say how brave I think you are. I cannot fathom a loss like a stillborn child, I think you are incredible for going forward and having another one.

I'm not sure if my situation applies to you or not, but I don't put a huge amount of stock in pre-birth weight measurements. My daughter was born a month premature. My last check-up before she was born was three days prior to birth and they told me she was about 4 pounds. So of course my water breaks and I am freaking out thinking she is going to be high risk for everything with such a low birth weight. Yeah. She was 6 lb 9 oz. Little bit of a difference. So I did not gain a huge amount of weight, and looking back at pictures (sorry, I don't remember the measurements), I had a very small belly (which felt huge), but I had a big 'ol baby in there. It can definitely happen.

Best of luck to you and your family,

I am sure you are just working yourself up, but to be on the safe side, just give your doc a call and state your concern. Simply say that because your history, you are especially nervous about everything. My friend who's first baby was also "an angel" truly received the kid-glove treatment in her subsequent 2 pregnancies. She had very frequent appointments and if she wanted an ultrasound, they granted it no matter what. They loaned her a doppler so she could check heartbeat whenever she was in between appointments. You need to be sure that your doc is understanding and accomodating to account for your previous loss. Good luck for a healthy remainder of your pregnancy.

I agree with the others that all pregnancies are different and I share admiration for your strength! Call your doctor and ask to stop by to listen to your baby's heartbeat. That will help. Also ask how you can continue to monitor growth in a way that will ease your worries. He/she should understand. If not, perhaps get another opinion? Both my babies were almost 10 pounds and my doctor was off on estimating their birth weight. Part of taking care of yourself is taking care of your concerns!

I gained 33 lbs. with my first and delivered an 8lb. 8 oz. 21 inch baby. My doctor was concerned about my weight gain (too much) because I am a small person and I was on track to gain 5 pounds a month (one month I gained 7). With my second, I had gestational diabetes, had to watch what I ate very carefully and had a hard time gaining weight (only 27 pounds). My second was 7 lb. 10 oz. and is still a peanut in comparison to his brother. Every pregnancy is different... my two were night and day! My best suggestion if you are concerned is to make sure you get plenty of protein. It probably wouldn't hurt, either, to consult a dietician. Hope this helps!

I just had my third at the end of August and had a very similar experience. My second was 9lbs., so having a small baby was not a concern of mine. From about 24-32 weeks I barely gained any weight and at 32 weeks I was only measuring 29 weeks, by the end I only measured 33. The last couple of months, the doctors really freaked me out and had me going in for tests constantly and told me the baby wasn't going to be 5 lbs (after many ultrasounds). They induced me early because they thought it would be better for the baby if she wasn't growing in-utero. Turned out that there was nothing wrong at all and she was 7lbs4oz, early! If she would have gone full-term she probably would have been another 9lb baby. There are many different reasons why you could be measuring small...none of it is a perfect science.
I know it's difficult not to stress, especially when you have experienced a loss, but stress can be harmful for the baby as well. Let your doctors know your concerns and try to take care of yourself. I wish I would have spent less time worrying and more time enjoying my pregnancy!

My daughter was born at 7 lbs. 11 oz. and i gained 60 lbs while preggo with her!!

My son was born at 7 lbs. 1 oz. and i gained only 10 lbs. the entire pregnancy.

60 lbs to 10 lbs, i was shocked, but it didnt affect the size of the baby at all. Until i was 6 months preggo,i hadnt even gained a pound.

So all pregnancies are different, i wouldnt be overly concerned....Plus, im sure you are more active this pregancy than the one with your son, so that can account for the change as well.

Hi S. - First of all congrats ! I'm pregnant with my second only 15 weeks, but haven't really gained a lot of weight...but measuring biggier. Strange thing is with my first my son was a HUGE baby 9 pounds 15 ounces.(Gained 30+ pounds I stopped counting at 30) I measured small and they thought he would be at the most a 7 pounder. A little off to say the least. I think your body is just different with each pregnancy. If you are worried call and talk to the nurse to see if you can get some of your questions answer. If your still worried ask to talk to the doctor that's what you have them for. Whatever you need to do so you feel more at ease. I'm sure everything is fine.

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