Tuesdays Top Tip: Due Dates
I am two days late for #TuesdaysTopTip 🙈, a series I am running on my Facebook page. I’ve been so busy preparing for Saturday’s Info Session on How to Have an Amazingly Calm Birth that it completely slipped my mind.
But what does the evidence say? First and foremost, the estimated due date is calculated on a lot of assumptions:
“Almost everyone—including doctors, midwives, and online due date calculators—uses Naegele’s rule to figure out an estimated due date (EDD). Naegele’s rule assumes that you had a 28-day menstrual cycle, and that you ovulated exactly on the 14th day of your cycle. To calculate your EDD according to Naegele’s rule, you add 7 days to the first day of your last period, and then count forward 9 months (or count backwards 3 months). This is equal to counting forward 280 days from the date of your last period.”
Studies have revealed that having an ultrasound done during 11 – 14 weeks gestation was more accurate than the LMP (Last Menstrual Period) method, above. However, again, it is not a hard and fast rule that you will give birth on your due date, “About 68% of people gave birth ±11 days of their estimated due date as calculated by ultrasound at 11-14 weeks”.
So, given all the evidence, what is the conclusion on Estimated Due Dates?
“Based on best evidence, there is no such thing as an exact “due date,” and the estimated due date of 40 weeks is not accurate. Instead, it would be more appropriate to say that there is a normal range of time in which most people give birth. About half of all pregnant people will go into labor on their own by 40 weeks and 5 days (for first-time mothers) or 40 weeks and 3 days (for mothers who have given birth before). The other half will not.”
Therefore, my Top Tip for you today is: Don’t fret your EDD, it is totally normal to be “late” and go over your due date. Rather consider it as a gauge/ a more-of-a-less time that you are expected to give birth. When friends and family ask what your EDD is, give them your Birth Month. That will take the pressure off of you and you shouldn’t have to field those pesky calls and messages asking is baby here! Rather than fielding those questions, you can use that time to better rest and prepare your mind and body for the beautiful new journey you are about to embark on.
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