Now that you are pregnant, the first question most people will ask you is when you are due. Your health care provider may have already told you when your due date is, after confirming that you are in fact pregnant. It's fascinating how they determine this magical date, so let's go through exactly how they go about discovering just when you are due. The technique for doing so is in fact very different than you may think.
The standard method of calculating your due date is to add 280 days to the first day of your last menstrual period, or LMP. Try out our handy pregnancy due date calculator to figure out your baby's
estimated due date.
Enter the first day of your last menstrual cycle below: Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Mth Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
How this concept works: the 280-day cycle works on the typical 266-day gestation period plus 14 days, which would be the time from when you had your first day of your period, until the time when you would have more than likely ovulated. So you see this is not exact science. Why? Well, because this method assumes you would have ovulated exactly 14 days after you started your period and it assumes fertilization took place on that exact day.
There are other methods of calculating your due date of course. If you had been keeping track of your basal body temperature or your LH surge, you would know when ovulation occured, when you had intercourse and the date of conception. If you know this exact date for sure, then you would simply add the 266-day typical gestation period, and you would have your due date. Alternatively, you could use software which will not only track your ovulation cycle but also give you an estimated due date once you are pregnant.
Unfortunately there is no exactly perfect way of determining when your little bundle of joy will arrive. But that doesn't mean you can't have some fun with this uncertainty. Consider creating a pregnancy pool so all your friends and family can guess just when they think your little one will arrive. Very few women actually go into labor on the due date calculated by their doctor. In fact, you should prepare for labor both two weeks before your assigned due date and two weeks after.
And remember: your due date may seem like a long way off at the beginning, but your baby will arrive sooner than you think.
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