Knowing how to calculate their due date is one of the common concerns among new mothers, especially first-time mothers. By calculating your due date, you will be able to predict when you will give birth to your baby. In fact, there are several ways to do this calculation nowadays with different levels of accuracy. So to help you predicts your labor day better, here are the things you should know about your due date.
What is Due Date
Your estimated due date (EDD) is the date that your provider predicts that your baby will be born. thinks you will have your baby. The due date is a very important concern for pregnant women. It helps you to have a full and thorough preparation for safe and successful delivery. In addition, the due date also acts as an indication or tool to check your pregnancy status and your fetus development.
The Different Term Of Pregnancy
It is a word of mouth that the pregnancy period lasts for 9 months and 10 days. In fact, normally a pregnant woman will have to carry her child for about 40 weeks (280 days) The pregnancy period is counted since the first day of her last menstrual period to her due date.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine ( SMFM) state that a full-term pregnancy is a pregnancy that lasts between 39 weeks, 0 days and 40 weeks 6 days. This means your pregnancy lasts between 1 week before and 1 week after your due date. Babies born full-term have the best chance of being healthy, compared with babies born earlier or later.
However, in reality, not all pregnant women go into labor after exactly 9 months and 10 days, but there will be a fluctuation depending on many different factors. These factors can include your ovulation time or the maturity period of your baby. Therefore, the results of calculating the EDD for each person are not the same. Each fetus will have a certain EDD, usually calculated in the third month of pregnancy. According to many statistics, although doctors may calculate the exact due date, in fact only about 1 in 20 pregnant women are born on this exact day, the rest give birth to their children 1 – 2 weeks earlier or later.
ACOG and SMFM also give out the definitions for the terms of pregnancy:
– Early term: Your baby is born between 37 weeks, 0 days, and 38 weeks, 6 days.
– Full term: Your baby is born between 39 weeks, 0 days, and 40 weeks, 6 days.
– Late term: Your baby is born between 41 weeks, 0 days, and 41 weeks, 6 days.
– Post term: Your baby is born after 42 weeks, 0 days.
How The Due Date Is Calculated
The LMP Method
The most common method to estimate your due date is based on your last menstrual period (LMP). Your EDD is calculated by adding 280 days (40 weeks) to the first day of your (assuming that it will have a 28-day cycle). This is also the method that your doctor will estimate your due date. In fact, this method is pretty accurate but you should not be worry if you deliver a week or two before or after.
Your Conception Date
Calculating your due date based on the LMP will work well if you have a relatively normal menstrual period. However, if you have an irregular period, the method may not work correctly. Instead, you and your practitioner can use your conception date instead if you remember it. Just add 266 days to get your EDD.
IVF Transfer Date
A lot of couples choose IVF to have a baby nowadays. According to the CDC, 250,000 assisted reproductive technology cycles performed each year in the United States, resulting in about 77,000 or more babies born a year. So if you had IVF, you can calculate your EDD more precisely using your IVF transfer date.
An ultrasound exam is normally is used to confirm the EDD. Your early ultrasound examination can help to predict your EDD. This method is more technical and parameterized, regardless of your LMP or your conception date. Depends on the size of your fetus, your due date will be calculated. Your ob-gyn will evaluate the dating from your ultrasound exam and compare it with your due date based on your LMP. Once a due date has been selected, it does not change no matter how many additional ultrasound exams you may have during your pregnancy.
There are also other methods that can help you know when is your EDD like checking your fundal height, the size of your uterus, or your baby’s milestones. Conveniently, nowadays, there are also many software, applications, and websites to help pregnant women calculate the EDD in the most accurate way. You only need to enter all necessary information such as the first day of the pregnancy, last menstrual period, gestational age, or date of your first ultrasound.
There you go, now you have the things you should know about your due date. Do you have any questions? Please let us know in the comments!