1. Finding out you are pregnant is an amazing feeling. You immediately start planning where baby’s room will be located, how it will look, and your brain sets afire with a thousand possible baby names.
2. Then, the most important question of all smashes your mind like a freight train – when is my baby due?
3. Your doctor will use a combination of tools and prediction models to give you an estimated due date, but you don’t have to wait until that first doctor’s visit to find out when you can expect baby. There are other ways to get an idea about your due date too!
How Long Is the Average Pregnancy?
If you’re wondering how long a pregnancy typically lasts, the answer is an average of 266 days, which is the equivalent of 40 weeks or nine months. However, very few couples know the exact moment of conception. If you remember when you had unprotected intercourse, simply add 266 days to that date, and you’ll be able to calculate your own due date.
Last Menstrual Period Calculation
If you’re not sure when you conceived, you can use your last menstrual period as a due date calculator. Grab a calendar and put a star on the first day of your last period. Count 280 days into the future and place a smiley face on the day you land on. This is the expected due date for your pregnancy.
Can Estimated Due Dates be Incorrect?
Estimated due dates are nothing more than best guesses. No two pregnancies are alike – just as no two menstrual cycles are alike between women. Some women have a history of shorter gestational periods or preterm deliveries, which could impact the expected due date; but in general, obstetricians will use the estimated due date as a guide for fetal health, development and growth. An ideal pregnancy usually lasts 40 weeks because that’s generally how long it takes for the fetus to reach optimal development for life outside the womb.
Even if the due date is reported accurately, it can still be off due to other factors. The date of the last menstrual period is just one factor that is considered when determining the due date. Other factors include prenatal blood work, pregnancy ultrasound, and fetal size. Even hormone levels can vary between women, so the due date is nothing more than a flexible estimate on which prenatal care is based.
Find Out Your Due Date Now
The most convenient way to calculate your due date is by using a due date calculator online. By plugging in some basic information, the calculators use a mathematical equation to give you an estimated due date for your baby – without any hassle or waiting.