When did you find out your due date? How did you find out? Did the doctor use your last menstrual cycle and the “Wheel of Pregnancy” tool to figure it out for you? Or were you 100% sure about your date of conception and use a calculator that way? Which calculator did you use? There are a few floating out there… Did you date your pregnancy by first ultrasound and the measurements of the embryo/fetus (depending on when you had your ultrasound)?

What's the deal with pregnancy/baby due dates? And does it even matter? About going into labor.And why does it matter? Does it matter? How much does it matter?

Sometimes “term” babies are actually premature and end up in the NICU. Sometimes barely-preemie babies are fine. Other times, a postdates (42+ weeks) baby can have some problems or stress, and sometimes they are totally normal and healthy.

If you’re scheduling an induction or cesarian based on your due date, what happens if your due date calculation was off? What if baby needed more time to “cook”?

What week/day gestation were your kids when they were born? Anneliese was 42 weeks and 3 days. I really think if I had had chiropractic care, she would have been born earlier (I have scoliosis and she also wasn’t totally positioned correctly… head down, yes, but she was slightly turned when she was born – though not fully sunny-side up). I didn’t know much about the real benefits of chiro during that pregnancy, but I preventatively saw the chiropractor during my pregnancy with Joseph, and he was born at 39 weeks and 1 day. Still, when Anneliese was born, the nurses and the midwife all remarked that she didn’t look “overdue” at all.

Did you feel anxiety if you went “past your due date”? Were you pressured? By whom? Did having that date circled on your calendar make you make choices you might not have made if you had a wider timeframe to look at? Like a “due month”?

I’m not trying to convince anyone of any one stance with this post…just throwing some questions out there to spark discussion or storytelling. What’s your story?

Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app and find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.

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  1. I truly do trust all the aspects you might have presented in your publish. They are very begging and definitely will absolutely perform. On the other hand, this content are certainly speedy for freshies. Might you please lengthen these folks a little via when? Thanks for the write-up.

  2. So interesting! I know I have 33-35 day cycles, so my provider based my due date (Christmas Eve) on the longest length using the wheel. US confirmed the date at 7 weeks, later USs suggested 2-3 days earlier. By that my baby was born 8 days early. Because we didn’t want a Christmas baby, I know only one possible date for conception, and going by that my baby was born exactly on due date. She was 7lbs, 11oz, slightly more than DH or I were, so I feel pretty sure she was really on time.

    Funny tidbit-her growth rates have been firmly measuring at the 20th percentile, so if her US dates were a week off, maybe she just measured slightly smaller than average right from the start?

  3. Interesting topic! My first one was born in Oct at 41.6 weeks in 2010 which was when I found and started keeping up with your blog. She was only 7lbs but the midwife said my placenta was starting to calcify so she was “done.” That due date was assigned by early ultrasound because there was some discrepancy about my last period.
    My sister has had 7 kids and they have all been “late” so I believe we just cook our babies longer or ovulate later in our cycles. I am currently pregnant with our second child at almost 39 weeks based on my last period. I did not have an early ultrasound this time. But I had a 20 week ultrasound and it said my due date was off by 10 days (should be later than it is)! We have not adjusted my EDD for that ultrasound though because I measured small with my first. I am very ready to have this baby right now but I do feel like I have a little more growing to do and I really feel strongly about letting them come when they are ready. But it is frustrating to be on the natural side of things and watch everyone else have theirs early by induction!

  4. Oh! And I verbally moved my due date back a few days, or said “early July” to answer people’s questions… plenty of questioners did insist for a specific date. Yay natural babies!

  5. Great questions! I love love love talking and reading about birth and other such things! I am excited to find your blog, and to read your first birth story (and everything else!) (I’m still in the middle of your second)! It sounds similar to mine 🙂

    all-natural! labor for two days– a week and a half before Little One actually arrived, 33 hours of labor, 3+ hours pushing, episiotomy, (only five stitches, I think)… I have had some horrified responses, where people have told me that this wouldn’t have happened like this in a hospital. I think most people don’t realize that they have the choices they do.

    We did know exactly when He was conceived, as we had been moving immediately prior. So we know when things happened. He was a few days early… born at 39 weeks and 2 days.

    I gave birth at a birth center, and it was a stellar experience! I would recommend it heartily! hoping for a homebirth next time– our birth center was beyond wonderful, and we have talked about moving back there whenever the occasion arises, but homebirth makes sense to me.

  6. I said my due date “Octobor-ish”. People didn’t really like that though… they want dates. I also lied to my OB about my LMP. My LMP was in November and I got pregnant at the very end of January. I’m thankful I was following NFP because I knew exactly when I conceived and the dating ultrasound backed me up withing a day or two. According to my calculations she was due 10/22 and she was born on 10/25.

  7. My due date was calculated based on ultrasound measurements. Something I found interesting is that the earlier the ultrasound the more accurate the due date (as the fetus grows there is more variation in size). Because the estimation was based on an ultrasound, my doctor was able to determine that I seem to ovulate during the third week of my cycle instead of the second (based on two pregnancies) even though I’ve always been very regular (4 week cycle). In any case, based on that due date (which was a week later than they would’ve estimated) I was able to go to 42 weeks (which would’ve been 43 based on LMP) but then was induced. We were expecting a large baby but she ended up being average size (just over 7 lbs). Of course to contrast a friend’s twins were delivered at 35 weeks and were both over 5lbs.
    What I found interesting was that there is so much focus on a due date but my medical prof.s were always very clear that it’s a window – 3 weeks before and 2 weeks after – yet no one was willing to hear “due in December” or even “mid December,” everyone wanted a specific date. *shrugs*

  8. With my second & third, I was tracking my menstrual cycles & was very accurate with my due date. I had ultrasound confirmation with both & was right on. With my first, I wasn’t keeping track, but she ended up being born 6 weeks early due to severe preeclampsia.

  9. My last pregnancy, I knew exactly when I conceived thanks to NFP. My son was born at 40 weeks 2 days. This current pregnancy was kind of out of the blue (my OB had “confirmed” that I wasn’t ovulating that particular cycle, so I wasn’t paying attention) so I have two different due dates given by two different ultrasounds. I don’t really set much store by due dates, although if I ever get to 41+ weeks I know I will stress about being coerced into an induction.

  10. I normally have 35 day cycles so I think that really screws with the medical “due date.” My first was technically 41 weeks and 3 days, but when I had my first ultrasound they said he was probably due a few days later than my given date, but since “it is within the same week” they wouldn’t change it. It is pretty infuriating considering he came one day before my scheduled induction date since my provider won’t let you go past 42 weeks.

    The same thing just happened with my second. My cycle was all over the map before I conceived, but I knew it had to be on the shorter side because I ended up contracting pneumonia during the second week of the conception window and there certainly wasn’t any baby-makin’ going on then. Based on my calculations they gave me July 6th, but my first ultrasound said July 11th. Again, they didn’t change it because it was within a week.

    This time I’m telling people my due date is “the second week in July” and will be much more adamant about letting the babe come when they are good and ready.

  11. My due date for my first son was always a bit suspect. It was based on LMP, but I wasn’t really sure what that date was… This was in 2000, so dating by ultrasound either wasn’t as common, or wasn’t the practice of care with Kaiser (whom I was covered under at the time). I ended up having an induction at 42w 2d.

    With DS2, they also dated based on LMP, and I opted not to have a dating ultrasound performed. I admit to fudging my LMP date by a week because I know I have a shorter cycle, and wanted to give him more time to bake instead of being pressured into an induction (yes, I lied to my Ob, that’s how little faith I had in how Ob care is practiced in the US, ha). His EDD was 1/21 based on that date, and 1/13 based on his 20wk ultrasound. He ended up being born on 1/8 by emergency c-section for fetal distress and IUGR, so either 39w 2d or 38w 1d depending on who you talk to. He was only 4lb 8oz, which is super-small even for 38wks, hence the IUGR diagnosis.

  12. I had a contraceptive implant before trying for a baby and haven’t had a period in over three years! The implant was removed on the first of the month and by the end of the month I was pregnant. My GP therefore couldn’t calculate based on my LMP but I know when I ovulated so we worked based on that. The scans backed me up so I felt vindicated for insisting I knew my body!

    My daughter was officially 40+4 gestation (although round here you aren’t really overdue til 41 wks (Oxfordshire, UK)) but I was induced; unfortunately I developed pre-eclampsia and for my safety she needed to come out. Her APGARs were 10, 10, 10 – pretty darn perfect! As soon as she arrived the surgical team commented on what a healthy and alert baby she was and she passed every year with flying colours so I fully believe it was the right time for her to come out too. My pre-e diagnosis was made on my due date – I’d had proteinuria from the beginning of the third trimester but low blood pressure had been saving me. It rocketed on my due date and everyone agreed it was time to get going for my sake – sadly there is an eclamptic death in my family history and the risk was not insignificant. It wasn’t ideal but I’m glad my body hung on right til the end to ensure my A had the best start possible.

    • Every year? Every test, even! She’s only 6 months…

  13. We used NFP, so I knew my dates of conception for all three.

    I am in total agreement with you on this post. Had I allowed my OB to estimate based on LMP, I would have given birth 7 days “overdue”, 13 days “overdue”, and 19 days “overdue”. For at least the last two, I would have had a whole lot of panicky OBs trying to push an induction. NO WAY!
    With my last pregnancy, when I actually was 8 days overdue, I started hearing the rumblings of Induction, and I was ready to go to bat to have at LEAST 16 days past due date. And I was sure of my due date! I’m firmly anti-induction for lateness. 🙂

  14. Birth was different back in the late 1960s. Our daughter was born in an Army hospital where all the husbands were either headed to war or just long enough home from war so all the wives were pregnant. When my doctor gave me a due date I saw no reason to doubt it. But when I went into labor and she was born on that date I kept saying it couldn’t be right because first babies never come when they are due.

  15. My cycle was very regular before I got pregnant so we based our due date on my last period. Janie was born, by c-section, at 42 weeks, and she weighed 10 lbs, 10 oz. Annie was born 2 years later, at 39 weeks and weighed 9 lbs, 9 oz. It takes a lot of stress away to have such bug babies – they don’t seem so fragile haha

  16. We do Natural Family planning, so I knew the date of ovulation and based it off that. And considering I was having long menstrual cycles before my second pregnancy, the ovulation made it accurate and my doctors were fine with that. Both my kids were born at 38 wks and 5 days, and both weighed exactly the same (freaky huh!)

  17. Both girls due dates were based on my last menstrual cycle. I started labor with Capri on her due date and she was born the next day, and Payson was born on her due date.

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