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Why is your estimated due date a load of rubbish?

Updated: Apr 24

Do you know the percentage of babies that are born on their due date?


That is a tiny amount.

If you've ever been through the exciting, yet occasionally nerve-wracking journey of pregnancy, you've probably heard of that notorious date—the Estimated Due Date (EDD). But let me tell you, it's time we had an honest chat about why those EDDs can be total rubbish.

First of all, let's make one thing clear: EDDs are not set in stone. They're more like educated guesses, and even the best guess can be off by quite a bit. Here's why I think these due dates are about as reliable as predicting the weather in a month's time.

So where does your estimated due date come from?

Giving a 'due month' rather than an estimated due date stops people asking if baby is here yet!

Your estimated due date is a guess.

Some methods are based on the average length of a mensural cycle being 28 days and therefore if your cycle falls outside of these lengths this can affect your dates. Your dating scan can also be inaccurate by up to 10 days.

Even the World Health Organisation states that the average pregnancy lasts between 37 and 42 weeks and doesn't specify a particular week.

Here are some of the reasons why banking on your baby arriving on your estimated due date is not helpful for you or your pregnancy.

Reason 1

No two women are the same! Every pregnancy is as unique as a thumbprint. It's baffling how we try to fit this beautiful diversity into a one-size-fits-all EDD. The average pregnancy lasts around 40 weeks, but that's just an average. Some babies pop out after 37 weeks, while others might need 42 weeks to get ready. And you know what? That's completely normal!

Reason 2

Calculations Are Tricky. EDDs are typically calculated based on the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). That's all well and good if your cycle is like clockwork, but many women don't have a "textbook" 28-day cycle. This can easily throw off the calculations.

Reason 3

Nature Has Its Own Schedule. Babies are notorious for coming when they're ready not when EDD dictates! Your baby is running on their own clock so, if they're feeling cozy and not quite ready, they might just chill in the womb a little longer.

Reason 4

One of the biggest downsides of EDDs is the pressure they put on both parents and healthcare providers. When the date comes and goes, the medical world often rushes to induce labor. This can lead to pressure to accept interventions which can cause stress and uncertainty for you.

Reason 5

If you have ever been pregnant before and your EDD has come and gone and you are yet to have a baby in your arms. It's a rollercoaster of emotions, anticipation, disappointment, frustration – it can be a wild ride that doesn't do any good for your stress levels which is not going to be helpful when it comes to labour and birth. People ringing on your EDD and asking 'have you had the baby yet?' also add to the unnecessary stress and pressure.

My biggest tip for you? Give everyone who asks you 'So when are you due?' a due month. This means that no one will actually know when you are due and it will stop the 'have you not had that baby yet?!' questions when your EDD has been and gone.

While Estimated Due Dates are a helpful guideline for tracking pregnancy for health professionals, they can often be more of a headache than a help for you. It's important to remember that pregnancy isn't a precise science, and babies don't follow calendars. They have their own agenda and arrive when they are ready.

So, if you're approaching your EDD, take a deep breath, and don't sweat it if the date comes and goes. Your baby will arrive when they're good and ready.

In the meantime, enjoy the anticipation and keep those feet up.

Kelly x x x


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