Do You Know Your Pregnancy Due Date?

Pregnancy due date is at best an estimated date of when your baby would arrive into this world. Some babies arrive earlier and some later. They generally seem to have the last say as to when they wish to arrive. Normal pregnancies last between 38 to 42 weeks. The nine months of pregnancy are divided into three periods or trimesters, which help describe the various changes that occur over a period of time. There are tell-tale signs indicating the end of pregnancy around two weeks before it actually happens.

Some Signs Already Known To Many:

  • The baby usually slips down to the pelvis area around 10 to 14 days before birth. Signs which indicate this include experiencing easier digestion by the mother, pressure from the stomach area shifts to the bladder, and the tendency to urinate increases. You are likely to get back pain and cramps in the legs. It is easier for women who have had an earlier child as the muscles in the uterus stretch better.

  • Around two weeks before the pregnancy ends, a woman experiences muscle contractions in the lower abdominal area. Known as Braxton Hicks contractions, these are usually painless and occur to a much lesser extent if the woman has exercised. It is the body’s way of preparing the uterus for dilation.
  • Closer to the end, there could be a pink colored vaginal fluid flow around 24-72 hours before labor. When the water breaks, usually 24 hours before delivery, go visit your doctor who will check for the leaked amniotic fluid through a microscope

.

Methods Used To Calculate The Estimated Pregnancy Due Date:

  • The Estimated due date (EDD) is 40 weeks after the first day of the last menstrual period. If you have planned your pregnancy, you would have noted down when your menstrual period started.

  • If you know the day of conception, which is rather unlikely, then the pregnancy date would be 38 weeks from conception as ovulation and conception take place two weeks after the first day of the last menstrual period.
  • Doctors use ultrasound to confirm a baby’s gestational age (developing age of a fetus). This painless and non-invasive procedure can be performed between 5 - 6 weeks at the earliest and offers more accurate results between 8 - 18 weeks from the beginning of the last menstrual period. This test along with the calculated date from the above methods provides a more realistic date on which the pregnancy would end.
  • There are several websites such as Mybirthcare.com and Fortunebaby.com that provide simple pregnancy due date calculators along with other information for your convenience.

Do not be tense. You need to relax more, especially during the last few weeks. Body aches could increase, and you may feel drained and tired. Every woman’s menstrual cycle is unique and varies in length and ovulation. Even the most advanced technology has been unable to provide a sure-shot method of accurately predicting why delay occurs. So if you go beyond your pregnancy due date, just enjoy the few extra days that you have before experiencing motherhood.