Support Through the Ebb and Flow of the Childbearing Year
One of the most common questions you'll hear when you're pregnant is, "When are you due?" Most likely, your prenatal care provider gave you a specific day, which you circled on your calendar.
But like most questions about life and about children, the answer is usually more complicated than that.
Our language about due dates reflects our need for things to be on time. Even the baby is considered "early" or "late." We have such a social stigma around being late, but due dates are estimations, not deadlines. Most due dates (bills, library books) are deadlines, and we tend to project that framework onto birth. People who tell their family and friends a due date may have to endure 50 calls a day asking, "is the baby here?" for an extra week.
But babies are not library books--no one's going to charge your baby an overdue fine. We'd prefer not to see babies come very early or late, but most babies come within a window of 2-3 weeks on either side of the due date--right on time.
Most doctors use Naegele's Rule, which is where we get the 40 week due date. Those fun little due date wheels usually follow Naegele's Rule.
Problems with Naegele's Rule:
Let's see what we come up with...