Great article!!! My first child was 2 weeks "early", my second was supposedly 1 day "overdue" and my third was close to 2 weeks "overdue" to the point that I would have been induced had I not gone into labor that weekend (my inducement would have occurred that Monday). I kept insisting to my doctor that unless there was a medical need or signs that my baby was under duress, I did not want to be induced and preferred to go into labor naturally. It's important for all expectant moms out there, especially first time moms to realize that the estimated due date (EDD) is not what they think. It is an estimate at best based on length of cycle and first day of last period. The wrench is the calculation is usually the length of cycle that can range from 28-35+ days for some women. So in reality, there is possibly a window of nearly 10 days or more by which your due date can be off. So scheduling rush C-section or artificial inducements because of a few days seems silly.
Giving Your Baby a Healthy Start
I wish I could have given this article to my first born's doctor (hospital birth). My daughter was born 3 weeks to the day late. My second child (son) was born 10 days late, and my third child (son) was born 3 weeks late.
My cycle is 32 days. It used to always annoy me that they calculated based on 28 day cycles even when I told them that does not fit me.
They should just chuck those old EDD wheels out and start using computer programs for more accurate dates...and then realize that baby will come when baby is ready.
I have often asked the question. How does one know when a baby is due?
This 'due date' is so inaccurate. Yet we rely on it to the point of stress after 40 weeks.
In the 16 yrs I have been a doula I have only met ONE mother who has three children. The first was born a few hours before the date given. The second came on the day. The third came two hours after 12am next day. She says her cycle is practically perfect each month and her husband swears to it too.
The only other mothers I know to have babies on or near the EDD are IVF conceptions.
Every woman functions differently each month. Cycles change due to many circumstances within their lifestyle. Just as each pregnancy and labour is different.
If 95% of women go over their EDD why even give a date? Why not say around the first, second week of a certain month? That way couples can accept that at some point things will happen. Plus they can still go into hospital to be checked if there are any concerns.
When a mother tells me her EDD I tell her to expect late delivery. However, I must say I have had 4 'early' deliveries one after the other. I questioned this to realize these mothers were under great stress due go the recession and their employment. They were not all first time mothers.
I have to say I am one of a few, I guess, who actually delivered on my due date. I actually did know when I conceived, I was the only one who knew this though. I also knew when my last period was. I was pregnant for exactly 40 weeks, no more, no less. Everyone I talked to were shocked at how my daughter was born on her due date. The night before I didn't think she was going to come on time. I guess she was ready to see me, my husband and the rest of the family. Late that night my water began to break. At 12:45pm much later that day she was born. So for many people the due date is off by a lot. I guess I was blessed.
P.S. My cycle is sometimes 28, 29, 30. Never the same every month.
It is amazing to me that even today the gestational process is not being allowed to take its own natural course on account of an ancient method of predicting the EDD.
Naegele was born July 12, 1778, in Düsseldorf, Germany. In 1806 Naegele became professor and director of the lying-in hospital in Heidelberg. Traditionally, even today due dates are calculated using Naegele’s Rule, which was originally suggested by Harmanni Boerhaave in 1744 and was further developed by Naegele in 1805, before he accepted his post; and further publicized, promoted and accepted as the norm by his textbook published in 1813 for midwives.
It is amazing that we still adhere to this today. Recent studies have shown today the average well-nourished woman goes beyond these dates. When estimating a due date, count back three months from the first day of the last menses, and then add 15 days if this is your first baby or ten days if a subsequent birth. Most women deliver within ten days either way of this time period or due date.
It's important to realize that a due date is an estimate. Even if you know the exact date when you ovulated, you still can only estimate the baby’s unique gestational cycle to about plus or minus two weeks...because of the variability of the menstrual cycle lengths...even the ultrasound date is two weeks before or after the given EDD...that is why it is called estimated.
Term is accepted as being 40 weeks gestation although according to Williams Obstetrics a term pregnancy is considered normal going to 42 weeks.