How to Feel Your Uterus in Early Pregnancy

Vilma Ruddock
Expectant mother

In a normal pregnancy, the chances of feeling your uterus through your belly before twelve weeks is slim. Be patient, and if you know what to feel for, you soon will be able to identify your uterus as it rises out of your pelvis when you move past twelve weeks of pregnancy into your second trimester.

How to Find Your Uterus

Don't bother trying to feel your uterus before twelve weeks of pregnancy because you will be frustrated. At 12 weeks, the top of your uterus is just about level with the top of your pubic bone, and you might just be able to feel it then. If you insist on feeling your uterus at twelve weeks, try the following technique:

  1. Waking up in bed
    Make sure your bladder is completely empty.
  2. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the bed.
  3. Relax and take a few slow deep breaths and then breathe normally and relaxed.

  4. Place the flat of your left palm on the middle of your belly just above your pubic bone with your fingers pointing right and elbow pointing left.

  5. Use the flat of your left palm to lift away any fat padding and bowel loops out of the way up towards your upper abdomen and away from your pubic bone.
  6. While supporting your belly with your left hand, place your right hand just above your pubic bone with your fingers pointing towards the bone.
  7. Press your right hand fingers gently into your belly and walk the tips down until they just touch bone.
  8. Gently rock your fingers in and out of your belly while pushing gently down towards your feet.
  9. If you are lucky, you might feel a semi-firm ball that is not as "squishy" as your bowels. That's the top of your uterus just behind your pubic bone.

If you can't locate your uterus after a couple of attempts, don't keep poking at your belly. Relax and wait for a week until the top of your uterus rises out of your pelvic cavity.

After Twelve Weeks of Pregnancy

After twelve weeks, your uterus rises above your pubic bone to lie in your belly. At thirteen weeks you will have a better chance to feel it. Use the same technique as above to walk your fingertips down to identify the top your uterus. Again, don't get anxious if you don't feel it; just wait another week.

By 14 weeks of pregnancy, you should have no problem at all feeling your uterus as the bulge appears in your belly. The top will lie about two fingers width above your pubic bone. At sixteen weeks, your uterus will be half way up between the top of your pubic bone and navel and even easier to feel as a firm protrusion in your belly.

Reasons It Might Be Hard to Feel Your Uterus

You might have difficulty feeling your uterus because:

  • You are twelve weeks or fewer pregnant as explained above, and your uterus is still hard to identify.
  • You are really less pregnant than you think you are at your presumed 13 to 14 weeks because of incorrect pregnancy dating.
  • You are overweight, especially if you are obese. If so, at 13 to 14 weeks, try supporting your belly fat up towards your upper abdomen as described above to lift it out of the way to try to feel for your uterus. As your pregnancy advances it will be easier to feel.

Reasons You Might Feel Your Uterus Before Twelve Weeks

You might be able to feel your uterus before 12 weeks because it is larger than your assumed pregnancy dates due to :

  • Incorrect pregnancy dating - you are really farther along than you calculated
  • Fibroids on your uterus - these get bigger from early in pregnancy because of your pregnancy hormones
  • Twins or other multiple gestations

Your Doctor Might Teach You if You Ask

If you are anxious to feel your uterus for the first time early in your pregnancy, don't get frustrated if is difficult at twelve weeks or before. Relax and wait, and after 12 weeks you will have a better chance of feeling it when you know what to check for. Your doctor or midwife will always know how to check and what to check for, and can teach you how to feel for your uterus.

How to Feel Your Uterus in Early Pregnancy