Figure 5-1. Appproximate height of the fundus at various weeks of pregnancy.
Growth that occurs too fast or too slow could be an indication of
(d) The size of the uterus usually reaches its peak at 38 weeks
gestation. The uterus may drop slightly as the fetal head settles into the pelvis,
preparing for delivery. This dropping is referred to as "lightening." This is more
noticeable in a primigravida than a multigravida.
NOTE: Remember a primigravida is a woman pregnant for the first time. A
multigravida is a woman who has been pregnant more than once.
(1) The cervix undergoes a marked softening which is referred to as the
(2) A mucus plug, which is known as "operculum" is formed in the cervical
canal. This is the result of enlarged and active mucus glands of the cervix. It serves to
seal the uterus and to protect the fetus and fetal membranes from infection. The mucus
plug is expelled at the end of the pregnancy. This may occur at the onset of labor or
precede labor by a few days. When the mucus is blood-tinged, it is referred to as a