Why Your Doctor Likely Has Your Due Date Wrong
Experiencing the beginning of a pregnancy is one of the best feelings in the world. We are so excited to see the rounding out of our belly, the admiring glances from other moms and the incredible feeling of tiny feet kicking inside. The knowledge that we are growing a tiny living being is hard to comprehend!
By the end of that long 10 months, though, (yes, it’s actually 40 weeks, not 9 months like we have been told), we are usually done being pregnant. We want to see this little person in person already! We keep telling ourselves, “Only X amount of weeks left!”
You’ve likely been counting the number of weeks left since the doctor gave you the due date at that first visit. The nurse pulled that little wheel from the drawer and asked, “Ok, so what was the first day of your last menstrual period?” She moved the wheel around to the date of that last period, plus 40 weeks, and gave you that shining, ever-so-far-off date that you would finally meet your little miracle. For the rest of the pregnancy that date is your beacon, your lighthouse, the culmination of your hopes and dreams.
For some of us the date of our little miracle’s birth actually comes “early”! For others, and for very few, our little bundle of joy arrives “just on time”! For many of us moms, though, that long awaited day arrives and our body isn’t giving us any “real” signals. Sure, we’ve had what we thought might be a contraction or two, but the doctor says it was just Braxton-Hicks. Who is this Braxton-Hicks guy anyway? It’s hard not to hate him for all of the false hope named after him! For those of us whose due date comes and goes and we are still pregnant for a day, two days, three days, a week, we start to wonder if this kid is EVER going to come out!
The doc starts talking induction and depending on your situation, you may love or hate this idea. You may want to give your baby all of the time he needs to fully develop (as long as it’s tomorrow!!) or you may welcome an induction because you want to be done with this already!
Is any of this sounding familiar? Why so much drama based around a date?! It’s just a random day of the year, right? Neither our baby nor our bodies have any knowledge of our calendars or our day to day schedules. The pregnancy wheel spins the same for each and every woman. 40 weeks from the date of the first day of your last menstrual cycle. Think about that for a minute. Are any of us exactly the same as the other? How could we all possibly be exactly the same? I mean, of course we all know that the date that the wheel gives us is “an estimate”, but do we really treat it that way? Do our doctors?
Most women have no idea exactly when their body will know it’s time to start the hormonal cascade required for giving birth. Most of us really wouldn’t know where to begin to find out. Although any due date is an estimate, we live in a world of information. Most of us want to know as accurately as possible when we will give birth.
The wheel is not a precise scientific method. It bases its guess on the middle portion of women in our society; the statistical average. It bases its estimate on women who have menstrual cycles exactly 28 days long. 28 days is the statistical average that so very many women fall outside of. You are likely NOT the average woman. You are uniquely you and your body has its own rhythm. If you want to plan your life, you need better information about YOUR body. You need to know exactly how long YOUR cycles were when you got pregnant. You need to know when YOU ovulated. This is not only possible; it has been possible for a long time. Why didn’t you know about this? Well, that’s another subject.
I’m going to tell you HOW it’s possible to know BETTER THAN YOUR DOCTOR when your baby will be making his or her Grand Entrance using the information your body gives you.
The information you can get from monitoring your body’s activities can not only be utilized to calculate your baby’s due date, it is also very valuable to all women who want to get pregnant! It amazes me that so many people are unaware of information that could help them get pregnant; especially those who are experiencing such difficulty conceiving a child. But I digress. I am sure that you, the reader, would like to know how to access this valuable information.
It is truly amazing that in order to GET pregnant, know WHEN you got pregnant and have the uncanny ability to predict your due date MORE ACCURATELY than your doctor’s pregnancy wheel , all you need to do is observe your body in a few different ways; likely ways that aren’t completely new to you.
Have you ever noticed that at certain times of the month, you feel some discharge when wiping? This can happen about a week to three weeks after your most recent period has ended, so it can be a little confusing. You may at first think that you started your period again, and it seems rather early. Then you realize that the fluid is clear and quite slippery. Maybe you have never noticed this phenomenon. If you have, Congratulations! You have discovered one of the most obvious signs that your body is ready to conceive! The other less noticeable symptoms are your luteinizing hormone levels and your basal body temperature. Besides this there are advanced options like over the counter pee on a stick type ovulation tests that can pinpoint your ovulation based on your fertility hormones. In our next blog, we will give additional information on how to observe these signs and how to make sense of the information that you gather from your body.
After understanding this information, you may never be the same again. I know that sounds so cliché, but it is true. Being in sync with your body, knowing what it is up to at any given time, is important for many reasons. The least of which may be, knowing an accurate due date. Most important could be, knowing how to get pregnant when you want to get pregnant.