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The Due Date Misconception

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

For many expectant parents, the due date is a highly anticipated milestone. It's the day when they expect to meet their little one but did you know that due dates are based on a misconception?


The concept of a due date assumes that pregnancy lasts 280 days, or 40 weeks, from the first day of the last menstrual period. However, this is only an estimate, and only 4% of babies are actually born on their due date. In fact, the range of a "normal"

pregnancy can vary by as much as 5 weeks!



This is because every pregnancy is unique, and many factors can influence when a baby is born. These factors include genetics, maternal age, nutrition, stress levels, and more. In addition, it's important to note that ultrasound measurements can also be off by up to 2 weeks.


So, why do we continue to use due dates? The answer lies in the medicalization of childbirth. Due dates are a way for doctors and midwives to schedule inductions and plan for hospital resources. However, this can lead to unnecessary interventions and even harm to mother and baby.


So, what can you do instead of obsessing over your due date? Consider using a "due window" or a range of dates in which you expect to give birth. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, and your baby will come when they are ready. Trust your body and trust the process.



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