One of the most popular questions people who are pregnant are asked is “when are you due?” Like it’s some magical date that is the for sure time when their baby will be born. It’s a question best friends and strangers ask, it’s an important date for doctor appointments, and for your own planning, too. But, how likely are you do deliver on your actual due date? We hear of so many pregnant people going into labor before their due date, after their due date, so really — does right on the due date really happen?
Turns out that actual due date is not really super accurate.
There are a lot of factors that go into how long a baby bakes before they enter the world. That due date is a calculation — one of the first calculations we make after that test shows it’s two pink lines. You could know the exact time of conception, implantation, and the time your test turns positive and still not have a rock solid due date.
Why? Seems unfair… planning is important. But science and life don’t care. And come with their own timeline.
Registered nurse, Jeanne Faulkner, discussed on FitPregnancy, that a due date is technically calculated using the first day of your last period. The due date is calculated from there, estimating around 40 weeks, or 280 days from there. Sometimes that date is changed after your first ultrasound — or even later — based then on the estimated size of your baby.
But, there is still a whole lot of variables from there.
The Boston Globe referenced a study that shows, on average, babies they followed in a large-scale study arrived 7 days before their due dates. First babies were more likely to be born closer to the due date, about 2-3 days sooner, and later babies born even sooner than that. According to New York Magazine, only 5 percent of babies arrive on exactly their due date, naturally, I think they’ve filtered out inductions or c-sections in that statistic.
Jeanne Faulkner, the registered nurse, says that pregnant people need to be careful about that due date they’ve been given, and have a realistic idea that yeah, chances are pretty low that will be your baby’s actual birth day. She said that pinning too much on that particular date, and holding that as thee date baby will enter the world may result in anxiety or disappointment, or even fear when the baby doesn’t come when it “should. She says this anxiety has led pregnant people to ask for inductions before their due date, or before the time it really should be looked at a medical necessity.
So, is the actual due date the actual due date — not always.
(Image: iStock / belchonock)