When you realise that you are pregnant, the first thing that is calculated is your pregnancy due date. It is one of the most basic requirements of prenatal care. Your obstetrician needs to know your pregnancy due date so that your medications, diet and check up dates can be put into perspective. Even if you leave the medical issues out the picture,, all your friends and family would want to know when the 'baby is due'.
However, the pregnancy due date that you get at the beginning of your term may not always be accurate. Often, the due date is changed at the fag end of the pregnancy. This could be due to a multitude of reasons. The most common factor for change of due date is an inaccuracy is the date of conception.
How is the pregnancy due date calculated?
To calculate your exact due date, you need to know the right date of conception. It is usually one of your unsafe days in the month from which you miss your period. The date of conception can also be estimated by doing ultrasound scans and accessing the development of the foetus. However, none of these ways to determine the due date are foolproof.
Why does the due date change?
There are several reasons for this change in the exact day on which you can expect your labour pan.
- First of all, every pregnancy is different. So, it is very possible that the term of each pregnancy will vary. The ideal term of pregnancy should be between 38 to 40 weeks. However, it can always vary by a week or two.
- The Fundus measurement or the exact dimensions of the uterus is what makes all the difference to your due date. If your uterus is sufficiently large and prepared for childbirth, then your due date may come sooner than you expected.
- Expansion of the cervix starts a couple of weeks before the due date. This happens in preparation of the labour pain cramps. So, if this sign is noticed earlier in the the third trimester of pregnancy, your due date may change.
- The position of the baby also determines your due date. If the baby takes the correct, head down position early, then you need to be prepared for early labour. If not, then you may have to have a c-section delivery.
- Sometimes, women can go upto to 42 weeks of pregnancy without feeling even a tremor of contractions. In such cases, a planned c-section delivery is the only option.
Did you calculate your pregnancy due date accurately? Share your experience with us.