Integrative Childbirth Services

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Clock is Ticking, "When are you DUE"

Posted on July 31, 2015 at 1:45 PM



What is the very first thing people will ask when you announce that you are expecting?  

Answer: "When are you due?"

My hopes for your reply: "In the Spring, Winter, Fall or Summer!"


Why?  Because you don't know it yet, soon the endless phone calls will begin, "have you had the baby yet?", the text messages will flood your phone like a teenage girl, "have you had the baby yet?", "what's wrong with you that you haven't had the baby yet?", "when are you inducing, since clearly you can't go into labor yourself?".


NEWSFLASH - you aren't broken!  Your due date means NOTHING! It is an "ESTIMATED" due date.


But there is a lot of emphasis on this date.  You expected by this date that your sweet baby would be in your arms.  You aren't broken, your baby doesn't have a clock or calendar, there are only suspicions on what triggers labor, even the natural things or scheduled induction will not insure that you will go into labor.  Labeled yet another NEWSFLASH - EXPECTATIONS are a hilarious thing.  


Let's understand the science to put your mind and everyone else at ease.  If you are getting those calls or texts, simply just copy and paste the link to this article as your reply.  If you received the copy and paste to this article, try this instead:  "let's go to lunch", "let's get a manicure or pedicure", "I trust that you aren't broken and your baby will be here soon", "how can I help you to pass the time until your baby arrives.


ACOG (they write the rules for Obstetrics and Gynecology) says you are considered full term at 40 weeks (NOT 37, that's when you are out of the woods and they would not try to stop your labor) and not "past due" until you are past 42 weeks.  So sit back and enjoy your baby being carried with ease, being fed without waking you in the middle of the night, knowing your baby is being soothed by the sound of your heartbeat.  


This is how your due date is determined, you might quickly notice the flaws.  The pinwheel or app your Doctor is using at that appointment to confirm your pregnancy is based on this formula, from 1850!  No this is not a type-o, I did type 1850 on purpose.


Dr. Naegele, circa 1850, determined that the average length of human gestation was approximately 266 days from conception.

He assumed that the average woman had cycles that lasted 28 days and that she ovulated on Day 14 of her cycle.

However, we know that this isn't true!! He used his data to come up with a mathematical calculation for due dates:

((LMP + 7 days) - 3 months) = Due Date
EX: ((January 1, 1996 + 7 days) - 3 months) = October 8, 1996


Dr. Naegele did not consider certain factors in his calculation. For example: Not every woman ovulates on Day 14. One study indicates that we need to add 12 days to the Naegele EDD for Caucasian, first time moms, and 7 days for Caucasian moms having subsequent children. African American and Asian women tend to have shorter gestations.


Nowadays, doctors use ultrasound, when available or if there is a question of menstrual history. Ultrasound can be an effective way of dating a pregnancy, but this accuracy is lost if not performed in the first half of pregnancy. Not to mention the current controversy as to whether or nor ultrasounds are actually safe for the unborn child. Natural Attachment does not offer or perform ultrasounds and advises against Vanity Ultrasounds (Keepsake Ultrasounds and ultrasounds used to determine the child’s sex).


Most folks agree that there are many ways to date a pregnancy, and that not just one factor should be used to determine the final due date. Other factors to consider are: Quickening (first time mom feels the baby move) Fetal heart tones heard through doppler, stethoscope and fetoscope Fundal height (Measurement of the uterus done throughout pregnancy) A mother's Fertility Awareness Method chart.


Breathe easy now! You will be given options about your birth and it's outcome at this point.  You may be asked to come in for non-stress tests to ensure baby is doing well as you wait for labor to begin.  You will definitely be offered to induce, do your research (articles included below), know your Bishop Score for the likelihood of a vaginal birth, think of it from the babys' point of view, call your Doula so she can give you good information to discuss with your care provider, last but certainly not least TRUST in your ability to make good decisions and be at peace with those decisions.


Even a doctor’s predicted due date is nothing more than a prediction. Only 10% of women deliver on the estimated due date. Half of women hit the due date within one week, but 90% deliver within two weeks of the predicted due date. This is why some obstetricians have started predicting due “weeks” instead of dates. ~ O. Wallace

Inducing labor is intrinsically ironic. It works best when least needed and often fails when needed most. It also causes the very problems it was intended to prevent. A German obstetrician in the early 1800s simply declared that a pregnancy should last ten moon months, that is, ten months of four weeks each. However, when researchers in 1990 study followed a group of healthy, white women they discover that pregnancy in first-time mothers averaged 8 days longer, and the average was three days longer in women with prior births. ~Henci Goer



Bishop Score: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop_score" target="_blank">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop_score (Midwifery model of care says anything over 9)

50% of Inuctions end in a C-section: Labor Begins on it's Own

Understand Inductions: Henci Goer, Elective Induction

Categories: Expecting Families, Birth Professionals

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