Due Dates... How accurate are they?
Lets talk about…Due dates.
In the UK we work out your EDD (Estimated due date) using Naegelle’s Rule. Calculated by adding on 40 weeks from the first day of your last period…. Weird because that means you’re not actually pregnant for some of that time (!)… hmmm.
Naegelle’s rule was created in 1812, following a 1744 study of just 100 women by a Dutch doctor. Up until around 100 years ago it was calculated from the last day of your last period, but now it’s the first day of your last period? We aren’t sure why! Either way, all seems a bit vague!
If you’re expecting to meet your baby on your EDD then you are part of only 4% of women who will have their babies on that day! 96% of you wont be celebrating your babies birthday on your EDD!
Why is it SO important then to not get focused on your EDD.
We have a tendency to get anxious and stressed as our due date approaches. Messages and calls from family friends ‘have you had the baby yet’ can be a little overwhelming and start to annoy you and make you worry. If we start feeling anxious, our body is going to start producing adrenalin. If you’ve done a Hypnobirth course you’ll know this isn’t the best way to kick start labour! Adrenalin tells your body there is DANGER! It’s not safe, there is a risk…or, as a message to your baby….don’t be born yet, it’s not safe! Our brain can’t tell the difference between physical threat (LION charging at you), or a psychological threat (overthinking or worrying about something that’s not actually going to harm you) – so it reacts the same. Survival mode – tension, adrenalin – no oxytocin, no relaxing! Thus making it unlikely you’ll go in to spontaneous labour!
If you lived across the water in France, your EDD would be given as 41 weeks. A whole extra week to grow your baby before being considered ‘late’ – We know French women and English women have the same physiology when it comes to pregnancy, they are just given more time (without added stress and pressure of a late baby) - sounds nice doesn’t it!
What do the facts say? In 2015 the study of 1514 women showed that 50% of first time mums had their baby by 40+5. Women on a second or subsequent birth had their baby by 40+3. 75% of first time mums had their baby by 41+2 with 75% of second time (or subsequent) mums having their baby by 41 weeks.
What can you do? Think of it as a DUE MONTH. Add a couple of weeks on to your EDD and don’t focus too much on THE date. Baby will arrive when baby is ready. What can you do to help? Well, that’s another post coming soon but the main thing you can do is keep your oxytocin levels high and make sure you are conserving your energy and resting, so you feel ready and rested when baby does decide to arrive. Lower your expectations of your little ones arrival and go with it. Patience, Mama xx
If you are considering an induction for post dates (after 40 weeks) then be sure to read our how to prepare for a positive induction, on the blog and use your BRAIN to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
If you have any questions about the techniques, or want to know more about other relaxation techniques for pregnancy & birth you could book a BIRTH HOUR appointment with us, for a short, effective and informative hour of birth coaching. Details can be found here.
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