What really determines your due date?

Posted by Ellen Back November - 1 - 2013
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You take your pregnancy test and find out your results. It’s positive! Congratulations, you’re going to be a mom! Now, the next question we ask is, “when’s the due date?” Typically, pregnancies last about 40 weeks, or 280 days, from the start of your most recent and normal menstrual period. But expecting moms must be prepared for a little uncertainty. Only a small select of women actually give birth on their exact due day. You may be one of the few lucky ones, but your chances may not be likely.

pregnancy due date

A premature delivery often times occur due to high fever, the expectancy of twins, an abnormal shaped uterus causing the crowding of the fetus, tobacco use, and a placental abruption. There is no clear reason as to why mothers go into labor sooner than expected but studies indicate that if a mother has experienced premature labor in the past, she has a 25 percent chance of experiencing a premature labor in the next pregnancy.

Overdue pregnancies are also common. Some reasons that may contribute to why you are late may be due to unhealthy weight gain, a first time pregnancy, prior overdue pregnancies, a history of overdue pregnancies in your family, and being uncertain about the start date of your last menstrual period.

The fact is, many factors contribute to the timing of your baby being born. With that said, be sure to speak to your doctor regarding labor dates and expectations. It is crucial to discuss these matters with your health care provider in order to schedule an ultrasound which may be more accurate when determining your due date.

Whatever the cause may be, hang in there! You may be experiencing back pain and swollen ankles but rest assured, your baby is on its way. An overdue pregnancy won’t last forever; you can expect your baby to be born at any time! Focus on the positive aspects of childbirth and stay optimistic.


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