Don't worry--your doctor will let you know if your belly and baby are not growing at a healthy rate.

question mark pregnant belly
Credit: Kaarsten/

Q. I feel so huge that I don't think I can get any bigger at this point. How can I tell if my baby is still growing at the right rate?

A. Even now, during each prenatal visit your practitioner will measure your fundus (top of the uterus) to check your baby's growth rate. This may seem like an incredibly low-tech way of measuring your uterus because it's being done from the outside of your body, but it's quite accurate.

The uterus is amazingly stretchy, starting from the size of a tennis ball in your 1st trimester and ballooning to just beneath your rib cage by your due date. By the time your baby is born, your uterus will have a volume 1,000 times greater than before your pregnancy, and it will weigh about 2 pounds all by itself. No matter where you are in your pregnancy, the length of your pregnancy should correspond nicely with the distance in centimeters between the top of your uterus and your pubic bone. If they correspond, your baby is growing at a normal rate.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

Parents Magazine