The measurement of fetal weight

D. Sherman*, E. Frenkel, S. Lurie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Timely recognition of fetal macrosomia may reduce the complications associated with vaginal delivery of macrosomic fetuses. Clinical estimation of birthweight is at least as accurate as ultrasonic estimation in birthweight greater than 2500 g, but less accurate in birthweight less than 2500 g. There is a role for clinical estimation of birthweight as a diagnostic tool. The data accumulated in the literature suggest that a clinical estimate of fetal weight is sufficient to manage labor and delivery in a term or near-term pregnancy. Even when estimating the weight of the macrosomic fetus for making decisions about a trial of labor, there is no benefit in obtaining a routine sonographic estimation of fetal weight but targeted ultrasound or formulas focusing on fetal body dimensions and proportions may be useful in these cases. Despite the progress that has been achieved since the use of Nagele's rule, the ability to detect fetal macrosomia or to predict correctly birthweight is limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-193
Number of pages5
JournalContemporary Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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