Estimated Due Date
Did you know that only 4-6% of Babies birth on their estimated due date. I want to explore your ‘Estimated due date’.
Due dates can cause so much stress. Almost all expectant couples etch their date in their mind. In the UK a pregnancy due date is when mum is 40 weeks pregnant, However, pop to France it is 41 weeks and go further afield to Kenya where it will be when you are 43weeks! I’m sure the variations worldwide do not stop there. So who is right?
Where did 40 weeks come from?
In 1800s a German Obstetrician created the Naegele’s rule and it wasn’t based on any rigorous scientific research. Since an established study by Mittendorf in 1990 found that on average first time mums gave birth 8 days post due dates. Our Estimated Due Date calculation did not change.
Further to this I have read that around 85% of babies arrive after 40 weeks which means that the date you have isn’t even a mean average. I haven’t got the answer. But, it is clear to me that we need more research on the accuracy of due dates so the calculation can change.
According To the World Health Organisation (WHO) a full term pregnancy is anything between 37 – 42 weeks. That means your baby is not ‘late’ after 40 weeks, your baby just isn’t ready. It is NORMAL. Babies born post dates are perfectly healthy we just don’t accurately know your baby’s due date until …your baby births!
Let’s talk about going past your due date, even though it is normal so many HATE it. I have seen many women dread the post-dates period. Often because friends and relatives meaning well al send variations of the same message and there are only so many times you can be asked ‘any news?’, ‘still no sign then?’ before you want to pick up your phone and launch it 5 miles out of the window!
How would you feel if instead you announced a due time, just like Royalty do. I’m sure you have all heard the exciting news that the Duke and Dutchess of Sussex recently had a little boy (if you haven’t, where have you been?!) He was due ‘Spring time’. It was still amazing news when the pregnancy was announced. Personally, I didn’t need to hear their due date to feel happy for them. Could you imagine the amount of added pressure the Duke and Dutchess of Sussex would have had from press if it was known they were going past their ‘estimated due date’ (which happened by the way!).
So instead of saying, ‘Our baby is due …’ try saying to everyone and YOURSELF ‘Our baby is due the first half of …’.
A great analogy I heard once was…
‘When you look at an apple tree do all the apples ripen and fall off at the same time?’
If you too would like to prepare properly for your birth please join one of the Talking Babies 5*, Midwife Led Antenatal or Hypnobirthing Courses. Click here.