You are given a date.
A Due Date
It is normally based on the date of your last menstrual period or from an ultrasound.
The date can change throughout pregnancy or it can stay the same.
What does that date actually mean?
Truth is, it is an estimation of when you might go into labor.
There is a wide window of gestation between 265-300 days. Most women are given 40 weeks as their due date and that is calculated by subtracting 265 from 300 which gives you 35 days. Divide that by two and you have 17. 5 days. Add 265 to 17.5 to get 282.5. That equates to 40.3 weeks.
Essentially, you have a birth month.
According to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology the following terms represent term births:
Early term is between 37 weeks and 38 weeks and 6 days
Full term is between 39 weeks and 40 weeks and 6 days
Late term is between 41 weeks and 41 weeks and 6 days
Post term is between 42 weeks and after.
It is up to you and your provider when you may want medical management if you do not have your baby by a certain date, but know that your baby will come and be in your arms before you know it. No matter if you decide to induce or wait, our doulas at Northern Virginia Birth Services support your choice and are there waiting patiently when you need them.