If you are keen to understand the relevance of due date in pregnancy, read on for some interesting information.
Due date of the delivery is one of the mostly asked questions to the expecting mother. However, it must be borne in mind that a due date is just an estimated date and there is no science yet to predict the actual day for delivery.
How important is the due date?
Most doctors refer to the due date as EDD or Estimated Date of Delivery. And EDD are just that, estimated dates, not exact dates. What this means is that due dates are not sacred, even if your periods are regular. But due dates are helpful for the expectant mother to prepare herself for childbirth and also to plan for the new arrival in the family. An estimated due date can certainly help in planning for all of the following:
Physical exercise for the mother (muscle-toning for childbirth);
Mental preparation (possible change in lifestyle);
Financial adjustments (babies cost money, even before they reach college!);
I have heard that very few women actually deliver on their due date.
True. Less than 50% of expectant mothers deliver on their expected due date. If your periods come at a regular interval of 28 days, you are more likely to deliver close to your estimated due date. If your cycles are longer than 28 days, you are more likely to deliver later than your EDD, and if they are shorter, earlier. However, if you have irregular cycles, then this dating system may not work; a sonogram taken later in the pregnancy may be a better indicator.
How are due dates calculated?
Due date is calculated 40 weeks from the first day of last menstrual period. This week includes 2 weeks when a woman is not pregnant and that is the reason why many doctors may consider 42nd week to technically calculate the due date.
You can expect some estimation from the ultrasound scans as well. In case the scan is around 95% correct in the initial 6 days.
How to deal with due date anxiety?
While itis natural to feel anxious about the due date, you need to relax and let nature know when it is the best time for your little one to arrive. You must not induce labour unless you have passed 42 weeks of gestation, suggest the experts in The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG). Rather it is the time when you should indulge in pampering yourself and you must go for regular check-ups to monitor the health of your baby. You shall feel better that you had spent quality time for yourself before, once your little one arrives.
When people ask about your due date, you may simply mention the month without going into the further details. When you keep reminding yourself of the due date, you might feel pressurised to get things done on that very date.
What is due week?
Doctors and the midwives look more into the due week rather than the due date these days. This offers better flexibility and you do not pin allyour hopes to that particular date only. If you are thinking of inducing labour, it is better to ask about the benefits, risks and the effect with your doctor clearly.
If you feel extremely anxious as your due date nears, you can always get in touch with your doctor. Make sure to stay well informed and know what to expect during labour and delivery. This way it shall get easier for you to deal with several changes in your pregnancy.
How is the due date of delivery calculated? Can babies be born exactly on the due date? What should pregnant women do when the baby is overdue? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team