I have seen people stress over the “due date” of a baby time and time again. Whether it is the parents of the baby or their family, friends or coworkers, everyone has an opinion.
Predicting Your Due Date
People are given due dates based on the wheel in the caregivers office, early, mid or late ultrasounds and the date of their period and/or conception dates. People are told they will be pregnant, on average, for 40 weeks. That’s 280 days from the first day of your last period, barring any complications. People often say that they will be pregnant for 9 months. If there are four weeks in a month, and forty weeks that you’re pregnant, then wouldn’t that come out to ten months? You rarely hear people say they are 10 months pregnant, though.
One lunar month is made up of 29.5 days. Another way to determine your due date, more accurately, is by lunar months. Most pregnancies will last just under 10 lunar months from day one of their last menstruation.
280 vs. 295 Days = Pregnancy Math
Think about this: there are 280 days in 40 weeks. Those forty weeks are what your due date wheel predicts as your "date". In 10 lunar months there are 295 days. That’s a 15 day difference. That’s more than 2 full weeks of when babies are considered ready - and within those weeks, there is a variance in early, late or post dates.
And a Date is a Date
You don't have one single date that your baby is due. Does this mean that we are inducing labours that need not be induced since both parent and child are not yet ready and what are the risks associated with this method of thinking?
Parents can have their own stresses when expecting a baby that hasn’t come on the expected “due date”. Parents will often get questions like:
“Any sign of baby?”
“Didn’t your due date pass?”
"There are things you can do to get the baby out."
People who pass their "date" often become overwhelmed with the thought of "will this ever end"; they get frustrated when they expect their baby to come after 280 days like the wheel predicted. Understanding lunar months vs. forty calendar weeks will decrease stress levels. With a more than 2 week difference in due date methods, that could eliminate the questions entirely. Thus, putting the parents at ease.
Interesting Fact: I am one of six kids. 5/6 of us were born within 5 days before the tenth moon.
If your care provider was using the 40 week method, would you consider telling people a later due date than the one you were given to avoid some of this end of pregnancy stress? Comments below are most welcome.