The moment a woman learns that she is pregnant the first question is usually, "When will this baby be born?" or "What is my due date?" Doctors readily supply the answer to that question, but is it the correct answer? Probably not.
As the given due date draws near, both the pregnant mother and her health care provider become anxious about the possibility of the baby being overdue. Assuming no real medical issues are present, doctors generally wait until the 41st week of gestation before they consider inducing labor.
The problem lies in what most individuals - including some professionals - do not know, due dates are very rarely accurate. Their only real purpose that the medical world gives a due date is to be able to manage labor by knowing when to expect it. Unfortunately, managed labor is a leading cause in many of the complications during childbirth today. Managed labor is dangerous for both the baby and the mother.
Midwives and doctors use a flawed system to calculate gestation by creating an average length of gestation of 244 days. This 244 days is considered average; however, it certainly does not in any way represent the ideal length of a pregnancy. Mind you, once a pregnant mother has carried a child for at least 36 weeks, counting from the first day of a missed period, it is likely that it is safe for a child to be born at the time that she or he decides it's time for birth. Gestation is not the same length of time for any two women and this managed system of labor that suggests the "average" applies to everyone often lead to dangerous and sometimes lethal situations.
Generally speaking, a child will be born when he or she decides the time is right. This is the safest and best time for labor to occur, naturally. Doctors, midwives, family, friends and even the mother do not know the "right" time for birth to occur.
A normal, healthy pregnancy can last anywhere from 36-48 weeks. Giving or calculating an estimated due date adds to fear, stress and in turn, complications when that due date has passed and labor has not began. The stress created from a due date passing without birth is certainly enough to prolong gestation. As a mother carries a child, her baby grows to know her. The child she carries feels the same emotions and knows instintively when he or she should be born. Since a mother who is having a managed pregnancy is feeling overwhelmed, scared and stressed the body's ability to produce oxytocin is inhibited. This hormone is produced by the body as a natural means of beginning contractions.
Each and every cell within the pregnant female body has been genetically encoded. This coding is also passed to the baby's body. This vital information allows the baby to "know" the right time to enter into the world. Complications arise when natural gestation, labor and the actual birthing process are tampered with. Intervening with this natural process to move things along faster is simply unnatural and unfortunately is rewarded negatively far too often with the injury or death of the child or mother, or both.
The female body is able to deliver on it's own. Most people have heard it said that a woman's body does all of the work involved in labor by contracting and releasing. This is mostly true. However, the baby does a lot of the work too! This is the natural means of moving a child further through the birthing process, through the birth canal and into the world. Bodies of the baby and the mother instinctively work together as the right hormones are released to successfully and naturally welcome a new life into existence.
The natural process being interrupted is the cause for so many complications occurring. No one, no matter what their professional title, has either the knowledge or the authority to tell a mother when she is "due" or if she is "overdue" because they simply do not know! Interfering with the safe, natural and healthy way in which our bodies are designed to have a baby is something we simply have no right to interfere with.
Some will still insist on determining their due date. The following is how to calculate your due date by the most reliable method.
However, if you still want to calculate an "estimated" due date, here is the most reliable method:
1. Start with the first day of your last menstrual period.
2. Subtract 3 months from that date.
3. If this is your first birth, add 15 days. If this is not your first child, add 10 days to that date.
This method is the absolute most reliable way to determine an estimated due date. Please note that the date you calculate is ONLY an estimate. You should NOT use this date as a means of anything other than knowing you have reach 36 weeks of pregnancy. Once you reach 36 weeks, it is LIKELY that your baby is developed enough and safe to be born any time after that date. DO NOT USE THE ESTIMATED DUE DATE FOR DIAGNOSTIC PURPOSES.
Very few babies are born on the due date calculated, only 5%. This is the best indication at how flawed and inaccurate this date is.
Medical intervention in childbirth is very rarely needed. Only about 5% of babies born need any assistance at all. Women have given birth for many centuries without the help of "professionals".
My suggestion to any pregnant mother is to take control of her pregnancy by not allowing others to make decisions for her. By taking responsibility for your child, you are already showing great qualities and potential at the mother you will be once your child is born.
Disclaimer: I am not a "medical professional" nor do I care to be. This information is not meant to replace your practitioner's medical advice. It is instead meant to offer insight on how the female body works and performs in delivery.