Sep 122010

“Holy cow! You’re huge!” -OB after measuring mother’s fundal height.

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 September 12, 2010  OB, prenatal  Add comments

  21 Responses to “"Holy Cow! You're Huge!"”

  1. I hope this was followed up with “At this gestational age, we expect to get a measurement of X, but you’re measuring X+6. This could be dangerous to you and the baby, so in order to rule out anything scary, we would like to {insert treatment protocol here.}

    • Surely it was. What self-respecting OB would miss a chance to perform some sort of test that subtly undermines the “patient’s” faith in her own body and normal pregnancy and birth by doing a scientifically and medically credible test that tells the mother what the objectively established norm SHOULD be, and where her pregnancy stands in relation to it?

  2. Hm, you seem to be measuring large for dates. Are you certain of your LMP?
    Wow, you certainly ate well this month! Let’s do a menu sample to make sure you’re getting in all the food groups.
    I noticed you measured large this month. Did you have an ultrasound yet to rule out twins?
    Hm, I seem to have gotten a bigger number than expected. Let me re-measure to be sure I got it right, and then we’ll discuss possible reasons for this jump in size.

    Pick any of these, doc.
    “Holy cow” is not a complimentary term and shouldn’t be used when commenting on a patient’s body.

    I personally think a nurse would be severely reprimanded, at best, if she complained about unpleasant odors from bedpans
    or bedsores, about how annoying and heavy the patient was to move, or how ugly scars or other markings were TO THE PATIENT HIM/HERSELF.

    To be clear, I don’t think docs can’t complain or be shocked by anomalies. I just think some tact was called for here, and was sorely lacking.

  3. Whoa, whoa, whoa there, Doc. We don’t need your fancy medical mumbo-jumbo.

  4. I had a doctor that I actually liked in my pregnancy with DS. This sounds like something he would have said, but with a good laugh behind it and it would not have been his response for something that could indicate a problem. I think he actually said something to that effect at my last appointment with him. I went into labor two days after.

    I can see why the comment is sucky though. Its like “thanks doc, because I don’t notice that every time I walk past a mirror, bend over, get dressed, move, breathe etc..” I hope it wasn’t something the doctor said to indicate a problem.

  5. This comment, coming from my midwife, would have been a good laugh. I felt huge, and probably looked that way too. But obviously this OB didn’t have that kind of relationship with this mama, so it’s absolutely rude.

    OB, it’s called therapeutic communication; learn to use it. Or at least have se tact and professionalism. Goodness.

  6. “No sh!t, doctor! Do you think it could possibly be because I’m pregnant, or do you think it’s caused by something else??”


    And of course, they’ll no doubt tell her that and nothing else, not explaining the possible negative repercussions, if there are any. :? I *love* it when doctors “inform” their patients.

  7. Depending on the banter between the doctor and the patient I really don’t see a problem here. I honestly would have thanked mine for the validation. I always felt HUGE by the end of every pregnancy. My OB and I would have had a chuckle but we had that kind of joking repertoire throughout all of my pregnancies.

  8. This reminds me of my experience with my youngest child.

    I was already an emotional wreck because I was pregnant after a full-term loss.

    I had to go through my “medical history” which was also traumatic. Then it was time for the exam. I am very short, and have always measured “large for dates” prior to 20 weeks or so. Even in my first pregnancy, when I didn’t “show” quite as quickly, I measured ahead.

    I told the CNM this, I explained that I knew when I had conceived, and that measuring ahead by a few weeks is my normal. During this conversation she appeared to be listening, nodding, acknowledging what I was saying, etc.

    As soon as she measured, she immediately started saying how I was measuring ahead and they needed to do an ultrasound immediately to confirm my dates, etc. etc. LIKE I HAD NEVER EVEN SAID ANYTHING!!!

    The only reason I had driven over an hour to this practice was because I had been told they were supportive and listened to the mothers who came to them for care. Well at this point I was starting to wonder if I’d wasted my time. Thankfully, the main midwife came in at that point, and she was fabulous. Turns out the “no bedside manner” one doesn’t do births there, and I only saw her one other time during my pregnancy, and that time my husband was with me. He said he had kind of wondered if maybe I was being oversensitive (understandably, of course), but after meeting her, he agreed that she was really super abrasive.

  9. Thanks. I try. Going by my fundal height, it looks like the gallons of organic milk, boatloads of seafood pasta, and the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream pints and Sara Lee cheesecakes as needed have been paying off.

    Oh, wait – you actually think this is a bad thing. My. How peculiar.

    I assumed the extra rolls of baby fat would assist gravity in helping the baby past my pelvic outlet. I also assumed I’d be in a position other than lithotomy. Was I assuming wrong?

    *sigh* This is one reason why I don’t use a surgically trained specialist for routine prenatal care. My CPM, who saw me in the comfort of my own home, never once uttered the words “foetal macrosomia.”

  10. Hey Ladies! This was actually my OB!

    A little background, this was for my 22 week appointment during my pregnancy with my daughter. Three weeks earlier, my father had passed away from a very long fight with terminal brain cancer. I was at the appointment, eager to hear my daughter’s heartbeat (I’d found out two weeks previous that I was having a girl, to be named after my father’s mother) and my OB walked in and the first thing he said was “Wowza!?! You gained 8 pounds?! That’s way too much for a woman of your size!” I explained to him the situation that had happened (I’m an emotional eater), about my father’s death and everything and he issued a really lame apology and condolences. He then went to measure my fundal height and again was so astonished “Holy cow! You’re huge! You’re measuring a good three weeks ahead of schedule, you’re going to have a ten pound baby by the end of your pregnancy.” …. 4 weeks later I switched OBs got another ultrasound and my baby was only measuring 6 days ahead of schedule, but otherwise perfectly fine.

    At 36 weeks I delivered a 4 pound 8 ounce, 17.3 ins baby that was deemed small for gestational age… I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to walk into my old OBs office and rub that in his face.

  11. I forgot to pink my link, the previous comment is mine, with the backstory.

    • Thanks for the backstory Erin. Sorry you lost your father. I’m assuming that your daughter is fine now. I’m not sure what you would even say to Dr. Short-Attention-Span. I can’t believe he did that to you twice. What a moron.

      • Thank you CCindy, he was a great man and he would have adored my daughter. She’s 18 mos now and thriving. Now I am expecting again, and really excited… hopefully I won’t have anymore comments for My OB said What?!

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