I just hate the words “Due Date”! Why do I hate “Due Date”? Because everyone gets so focused on the “Due Date” day and just about everyone thinks their baby will arrive on that day. Well, here I go again bursting bubbles.
ONLY 5% OF BABIES ARE BORN ON THEIR DUE DATE
It’s really a myth that your baby is late if he/she doesn’t arrive on that date. And in most cases if your baby arrives before the due date, people assume the baby is early.
BABIES ARRIVE WHEN THEY ARE READY FOR LIFE OUTSIDE THE WOMB.
A full-term pregnancy is between 37 and 42 weeks. Any time in those 5 weeks your baby can be born and be considered full term, not early, not late, on time.
HOW DO DOCTORS AND MIDWIVES CALCULATE YOUR DUE DATE?
Your care provider assumes that you (and everyone) has a 28day menstrual cycle and that you ovulate on the 14th day of the cycle. Add 7 days to the first day of your last menstrual period and then count forward 9 months. Or assume that your due date is exactly 40 weeks after the first day of your last period.
THIS CALCULATION HAS BEEN USED SINCE 1744!
IS IT TIME TO UPDATE?
According to Evidence Based Birth’s Rebecca Dekker, research shows that ultrasounds done in early pregnancy, between 11-14 weeks was more accurate than using the last menstrual period, and the most accurate. Ultrasounds done in the third trimester are less accurate in predicting gestational age and due dates
THE AVERAGE PREGNANCY IS 41 1/7 WEEKS
So, an exact due date does not really exist. It is clearly just an estimate. So if you don’t want friends and family to keep texting, emailing, and calling you, don’t give them a Date! Give them an estimate. I’m due in the middle of, end of, beginning of the month of __________________
Questions To Ask If Your Care Provider Recommends
Induction of Labor
• Why are you recommending induction of labor?
• What are the risks to my baby and me if I wait for labor to begin naturally?
• Do research studies confirm that inducing labor in this situation is safe and will reduce my risk of an unhealthy outcome?
• Can we try more natural methods of induction before using drugs?
• Is induction likely to be successful for me?
• Is my cervix ripe? (Your provider can tell you if your cervix is ripe. Women who are induced before their cervix is ripe are much more likely to have cesareans, even if cervical ripening drugs are used.)