Baby's Abdomen Is Measuring Smaller Then the Rest of His Body

Updated on July 17, 2009
S.E. asks from Sparks, NV
10 answers

I am 39 years old and struggled to get pregnant for the last 4 years. I did in vitro and I am currently 24 weeks. I went to a specialist for my first ultra sound when I was 19 weeks and everything was measuring out fine and my baby was at the 50% in weight. However, I just went back for another check up at 23 weeks and my baby's abdominal area is measuring 2 weeks behind the rest of his body, and he is also within the 22 percentile for weight out of 50% which is the average range. Has anyone had something similar happen to them, and if so, what was the outcome?

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So What Happened?

I personally want to thank each and every one of you for sharing your thoughts and stories with me. It is comforting to know that I am not alone! I will keep you posted on the outcome. My next ultra sound is scheduled for August 7th. I am hoping to hear good news and that everything is measuring right where it's suppose to be. Thanks again!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, S.,

The stats you posted don't sound alarming in and of themselves. (My kids almost always seemed small, and still are, but are quite energetic as toddlers.) If you are worried and don't have a perinatologist, I recommend that you call mine, Khalil Tabsh, who is the head of obstetrics at UCLA.

L. E

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answers from Los Angeles on

First, I want to say what happened to me is not necessarily happening to you. BUT, it's something to be aware of. I read your post and kind of froze in my tracks.

In 2007, I was pregnant with twin girls. At my 20 week ultrasound they were both measuring fine, looked beautiful and there was nothing suspected to be wrong. Three weeks later at my doctor appt, they both were measuring with stomachs that hadn't grown since the last appt, but the rest of them had. My doctor put me on modified bedrest for the next two weeks to see if that would help.

A week into bedrest I called my doctor. I didn't feel right. My urine was dark, I was bruising, and I just didn't feel like things were ok.

I was right. I was admitted to the hospital one day before I turned 24 weeks and later that night delivered my two girls. I had to since I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and severe HELLP syndrome. If I hadn't delivered, I would have died. Unfortunately, my little girls were too small and too premature and didn't make it.

This may not be the case with you at ALL, but please watch out for the following things...any of them...not all symptoms appear in all women...they certainly didn't with me!

-Swelling, particularly in the hands and feet
-headaches that don't go away with Tylenol
-visual disturbances, floaters, any change in vision
-dark urine
-high blood pressure (over 140 or over 90)
-pain underneath your right ribcage or pain that radiates to your right shoulder
-any excessive bruising
-bloody noses
-just a feeling that things aren't right

Calling my doctor that day saved my life, even though it couldn't save my babies. In case you are wondering...the reason their stomachs were smaller (in my case) was they weren't getting the food they needed. The placenta wasn't supplying them with enough...with pre-e the veins constrict and the flow of blood and nutrients is compromised.

Anyway...I truly hope that everything goes for symptoms and call your doctor and demand to see them if you have even the slightest concern that there is something wrong with you or your baby.

I would also suggest you pay close attention to movement...any decrease in movement of your baby and you should also immediately call your doctor. I really don't want to scare you, but had to share my's too important not to...

Best of wishes to you and your baby!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, I got pregnant with my son when I was 39 years old too! I know how hard it after struggling so when you hear anything that might sound bad you can get scared. I seem to recall something like this happening to me as well. I think it was measuring smaller because he had just recently urinated because at the next ultrasound everything was fine. I wouldn't worry about it; especially if your OB/RE wasn't concerned!! Good luck and enjoy this time!!



answers from Los Angeles on

My little boy was always a source of worry as he was always in the 5% bracket and I thought that he was too skinny. Those scales are based on the east coast by children who have a much heavier diet and are slightly fatter. I would watch as it's not good to ignore things (If your concerned) but if you little one is growing, and is good in height, I'd say... "Take it with a grain of salt" my boy is now 3 years old, still skinny, but healthy as ever. Best Wishes...



answers from Los Angeles on

This happened to my boss. She had to go in for ultrasounds twice a week and was very worried about it. She ended up giving birth to a healthy beautiful baby who is now 3.

I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers...I know how stressful pregnancy can be and trying for 4 years.



answers from Los Angeles on

1. Some growth problems are due to allergies. for allergy eliminations.

2. If the body hasn't normalized once all allergies are eliminated and the after the body has been completely detoxed, you may want to consider that your child has the incorrect background - satellite sytem. I would try first and go from there. I don't have enough information on satellites yet to give you the in's and outs.

Be well.




answers from Los Angeles on

I went in for an ultrasound at 20 weeks and one side of my baby's brain was less developed than the other side. I had to go in the next day for another ultrasound with the expert of the office and they offered me an amnio, which I declined. The ultrasound only provides a snapshot moment in your child's development. Some things develop at different paces and if you happen to have your ultrasound scheduled at a time when one things is ahead of another, you have to keep that in mind. I was concerned about his brain development, but kept reminding myself that during the 6 weeks in between my ultrasounds. By the next ultrasound he was back to even. Now at 36 weeks he is still just fine. Try to stay calm about it and remember that if there does happen to be a problem, at least your doctor and pediatrician will have time to prepare for it before delivery due to the info on the ultrasounds. Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy!



answers from San Diego on

you may have intra uterine growth restriction/ retardation. iugr. i had this with my first birth (son). basically, your placenta may not be getting enough nutrients to your baby. the small abdomen is of concern, but not as concerning as a small head. you can measure 1 week behind in your first trimester, 2 weeks behind in your second, and 3 weeks behind in your 3rd. did the doc schedule more ultrasounds? my experience was at 28 weeks, my son was tiny. like the 1st percentile. he was also nearly 3 weeks behind. i was closely monitored for the next 6 weeks- bi weekly sonograms, twice a week to measure the heart beat and fluids, and at 34 weeks, i was induced. i delivered vaginally, bt my son weighed only 3 and a half pounds! he was about 4 weeks behind! the good news is that once detected iugr babies turn out fine. it's important to make sure the babies are getting oxygen and that their organs are developing. my son had to stay in the hospital for a while, but he is really healthy now.
if this ends up being your diagnosis, you are welcome to email me further. it's so scary to have compications during your pregnancy. i think only women who have been through it can understand. also, i delivered both my babies at ucsd- i swear by them and their doctors. they aren't fancy, but they have the best specialists! and nic-u!



answers from Los Angeles on

Well, he has plenty of time to grow, so don't stress!

When I was around 18-19 wks pregnant, my daughter's body was measuring on the small side compared to her head. The doc told me I needed to rest and relax more, not stress out about it - if I started to get more rest, she would grow.
I put my feet up :) a couple times a day and even started napping occasionally.

Had another u/s around 34 wks and she was perfect!

She arrived late, which may mean the original due date was slightly off - or maybe not and she just wanted to "cook" a little longer (but these are some reasons why I disagree with the amount of labor inductions nowadays!).

She was born healthy and perfect, and is a healthy, perfect 3 y/o now!

Rest easy - I am sure all is well.



answers from San Diego on

I have no advice as I've never shared your experience. Just wanted to send prayers and encouragement your way. May God bless you and your baby.