When’s my baby due?

I’m sure that one of the first things that you did when you found out that you were pregnant is try to work out the estimated due date (“EDD”); it’s also probably the first question that people ask when you tell them that your pregnant.

When is my baby due?

So, how accurate is the EDD?

Well first off, remember that the EDD is just an estimate. Your midwife will ask you when your last period started, count back 3 months and add seven days. This calculation assumes that you happen to be someone who scrupulously notes down your period dates and who has a ‘normal’ 28 day cycle; most of the HypnoBirthing mums I work with don’t match that description. It’s easy to see how using such a starting point and adding about 282 days to it may not give an accurate EDD.

Where does 282 days come from?

The gestation period for 95% of the population falls between 265 to 300 days. 282 days is simply the average of these 2 figures. You’ll probably find that your hospital will amend your EDD at least once during your pregnancy as the size of your baby is compared to the average foetal size. Most mums I work with consider that the EDD gets closer to the date that they intuitively feel is the right date. However, I don’t think any of my HypnoBirthing mums have birthed their baby on their EDD.

So, how many babies do arrive on their due date?

Only 5% of babies are actually born on their due date. How crazy is that? So it’s really not a good use of anyone’s nervous energy to focus on the due date that you’ve been given. Research shows that the average first baby is born at 41 weeks and 3 days, i.e. 10 days after their due date. Can you imagine how annoying, and pressurising it would be to have friends an dfamily calling and texting to know if you’ve had the baby yet as soon as the magical EDD arrives? Therefore, it’s more important to focus on that range of 265 days to 300 days. So, if you were due on December 15th, it would be fair to assume that the baby would be due sometime in December. My first baby was due on the 13th. Being keen to manage everyone else’s expectations and avoid any pressure, I told friends and family that the EDD was  towards the end of the month.

Is the EDD that important?

The importance of not focussing too much on the EDD is not just about avoiding other people’s expectations but allowing yourself not to worry about when the baby is born. As long as you and your baby are both in good health and there are no complications, you should enjoy these last few days of pregnancy rather than feel pressured to consider being induced. You and your baby know when it’s time to get things started. Once artificial intervention is introduced you’re moving away from what your body and baby know what to do.

In my next post I’ll be talking about how you can help things along naturally if your do go past 42 weeks.


6 thoughts on “When’s my baby due?

  1. My EDD is the 22nd of this month and now they have given me till the 28th of this month to give birth or I’ll be induced. Its my first baby and I’m stressed out really don’t want to get induced, please give me advice on how to get baby to come before the date they induce me!

  2. Hi Tarryne. You have pre-empted my next post which is going to be all about getting things started naturally so I’ll do a very quick bullet-point list for you now given that you seem to be on a schedule:

    – Eating spicy food
    – Walking a lot
    – Sex i.e. anything stimulating
    – Visualising your body opening and your baby descending
    – Warm relaxing baths
    – Reflexology
    – Acupuncture
    – Homeopathy

    I can’t stress enough though how important it is to relax to give your body the time to get things started. Also, you say that you will be induced 6 days after your EDD. Is there any specific reason for not waiting until you are 2 weeks past your EDD? Perhaps you could buy yourself a little more time, just a day at a time.

    I hope it all goes well. Please let me know how you get on.

    • Hi, no specific reason I was given just told that if I didn’t give birth by that certain day I’d be refered to get induced.thanx for the advice though! I just really don’t know what to expect for when and if I get induced I have been told its very painful and I could go in to labour for a few days! I’m so not sure I’ll be able to handle that and I’m goin about my birth very natural and normal. Tarryne

      • Well, if there is no specific reason for inducing you so soon, I would really try to buy extra days of waiting time. Ask what the benefit of being induced at this time is and what the risks of delaying for a few more days are. Once you start artifically inducing labour, the natural flow of birth is disrupted. Just keep buying a few days at a time.

        Good luck!

  3. I think it’s helpful to think of hospitals as sort of service stations – they want to get you in and back out again asap… As a ‘consumer’ it is important to make sure that whatever they suggest is ok with you, and if you don’t want to be induced, and believe that the baby knows best about when to come and join us, then you need to insist. I really found that hypnobirthing helped with this, as i was so calm and reasonable the doctors found it difficult to argue!

    • HypnoBirthing classes prepare you so that you can ask the right questions in the right way. You and your midwife are a team and the questions you ask will ensure that you remain in control whilst your midwife can act in the best interests of you and your baby.

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