After a woman finds out that she is pregnant, the first thing that she would want to know is what is the due date. Not only a pregnant woman but her friends and family would also like to know to greet the child into the world. On the other hand, the doctors and midwives would want to know as they would want to chalk out complete pregnancy care calendar and would also have to be prepared when the time is due. More than anything else, a pregnant woman would like to know when she is due because that’s the most beautiful time of pregnancy – holding your child in your hand for the first time! So, how do you calculate your due date? Let’s find that out in this article.
What is Pregnancy Due Date?
Pregnancy due date is nothing but the estimated delivery date. Generally, the delivery date is 38th week from the ovulation date or 40th week from the last day of your period. When you say estimated delivery date, it is more like a time marker than a simple date because you are more or less likely to deliver your baby with the four weeks around your due date. This time bracket includes two weeks prior and after your due date.
That being said, studies prove that only 5 out of 100 women have their baby on the estimated delivery date. On the other hand, only 70 in about 100 pregnant women deliver their baby within the first 10 days from their due date. Rest of the women either deliver before or after this time.
Why is Pregnancy Due Date Important?
As mentioned earlier, the due date calculator is very important in many different ways. It is particularly important for the family, friends and caretakers to be ready just in time for the baby’s arrival. In addition, pregnancy week calculators can help in myriads of different ways.
1. Scheduling Tests
There are many prenatal tests that need to be conducted right on time. Knowing the due date using the pregnancy due date calculator can help the doctors to do the tests right on schedule!
2. Tracking Fetal Development
When you know your due date, your healthcare provider will be able to determine which stage your baby might be in and check if the baby development is progressing well. They will even be able to determine if there is an issue in the development of the fetus. All in all, your doctor will be able to determine:
- The height of fundal
- The time when the baby starts to move
- The time when you can hear the heartbeat with a handheld doppler
- The time when the heartbeat should be heard in the transvaginal ultrasound
3. Helps in Knowing if Labour is Premature
When a baby is born way before the due date, it can turn out to be harmful to the baby. This can be halted with the help of interventions like medications. But, not always are the medicines healthy for the baby and the mother. That is when you and your doctor can sit and come to a conclusion on how to eradicate the risks of preterm birth. On the other hand, if a mother does not have the labour on time, that is even after 14 days from the due date, then the doctors have to induce labour.
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How to Calculate Your Due Date?
You may wonder how a pregnancy month calculator works. There are many ways in which a doctor determines your due date. Generally, your doctor may use any of the following ways:
- Based on the date of your last day when you bled
- The date of ovulation or conception
- Based on ultrasound measurements
- In case of IVF or in vitro fertilization, your date of implantation
1. Based on Date
This method uses 280 days or 4 weeks from the last time you had your menses. Another way is 266 days or 38 weeks from your ovulation time. Certain times, the ultrasound can help a doctor determine if there is going to be a shift in your delivery date. However, this will not hamper the gestational age calculator, which is based on a 280-day basis.
Calculating your delivery due date based on the dates becomes easier with a formula well-known as Naegele’s rule. Based on this rule, all you have to do is:
- Take the date when you last bled
- Add one year to it
- Then add seven days to it
- Finally, subtract three months
And you will arrive on the due date!
2. Based on Ovulation or Conception
This delivery date calculator method is the most accurate way to arrive at the due date of all other methods. In case you know the date of your ovulation, then tell it to your doctor. They may want to know it and can determine the exact due date. This way you won’t be a week early for C-section or way late for normal delivery.
3. Using Ultrasound
When ultrasound is done in the first trimester of pregnancy, it can determine your due date. However, you cannot always rely on the ultrasound-based due date determination. There are two ways in which your doctor may use a pregnancy calculator week by week through ultrasound.
- A transvaginal ultrasound uses fetus’ length from crown to rump during the 9 and 13 weeks.
- A biparietal diameter (BPD) ultrasound uses the measurement of the baby’s skull diameter.
4. IVF Due Date
The date of delivery when you are using IVF can be easily determined using the pregnancy date calculator. And you can rest assured knowing that the due date of your delivery will not change. This is because your delivery due date is not calculated based on your date of conception, last period date or not even the egg retrieval date. But, in this method, it is calculated based on the day embryo is transferred and also based on the age of the embryo.
Safe Period Calculator
Although some women love to know the date of delivery, however, a certain set of women in our society who are not yet ready to conceive. If you wish to have sex and not conceive at the same time, then you must turn to a safe period calculator. In this calculator, you have to keep track of the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase! If you do not wish to conceive, then you must stay alert during the ovulation period. That is when your egg is ready to receive sperm. However, during the follicular phase and the luteal phase, you are unlikely to get pregnant.