Finding out that you are expecting is one of the most exciting pieces of news a woman can receive. Whether it’s your first time or your third, the joy of knowing that a new life is growing inside your body is an extraordinary moment. But before you get caught up in the exciting preparations for your pregnancy journey, you might be wondering: When will I meet my little one?
A typical pregnancy usually lasts for 40 weeks with the 40th week being the Estimated Date of Delivery, or EDD. It’s also commonly referred to as the “due date”1. As this date is just an estimate, the likelihood of giving birth on your due date is actually small2. Interestingly, only a handful of pregnant women actually deliver on their due dates as most give birth on a wide range of dates between 38 to 42 weeks3.
In this digital age, we now have abundant access to countless online resources for pregnancy-related information, including an easy way to know your due date.
Pregnancy calculators are simple and easy to use tools that you can use to calculate your EDD. Just determine the date of the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) as well as the average length of your cycle, which usually ranges between 28 to 31 days. Input these data into the calculator, and it will generate the result for you.
While it is easy to input these numbers on an app on your phone, you may also find it useful to know how these pregnancy calculators generate the EDD. If you want to compute the date on your own, you can do so by following these simple steps4:
- Get the date of the first day of your LMP.
- Count back to 3 months, then add 7 days.
- Finally, add 1 year.
For example, following the steps above:
- Let’s say the first day of your LMP is 1 June 2020.
- Counting back 3 months and adding 7 days gives you 8 March 2020.
- Add 1 year, and that means your due date should be on 8 March 2021.
It is important to note that this method applies only to women whose menstrual cycle is regular. If your period is irregular, it would be best to consult your doctor.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use pregnancy calculator, you can check this one to know when you can expect to meet your little one.
Other Ways to Find Your Due Date
While it may be convenient to use a pregnancy calculator, it may not give the most accurate results for some pregnant women. This is particularly true for women whose menstrual cycles are irregular, making it difficult to track their LMP. If you are one of these women, don’t worry. You always have the option to seek your doctor’s help.
After consultation, your doctor or sonologist will use an ultrasound examination to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy. Through the ultrasound machine, the doctor will check the size of the fetus as well as other factors that can help to determine the EDD. It has to be noted that for the most accurate results, the ultrasound should be done within the pregnancy’s first trimester5.
With the increasing accessibility of pregnancy calculators and online resources to determine your due date, you have more options to choose from and determine which one is best for your situation.
While many other important factors like health conditions and stress levels affect the actual date of delivery, it is still helpful to know the time frame when you’re expected to deliver your baby. This can be a good place to start the exciting journey of preparing for your pregnancy.
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1 Calculating a Due Date (n.d.). https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/calculating-a-due-date
2 Pregnancy Planning (n.d.) https://www.womenandinfants.org/services/pregnancy/pregnancy-planner
3 Week-by-Week Pregnancy Calendar (n.d.). https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/pregnancy-calendar-intro.html
4 Calculating a Due Date (n.d.). https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=calculating-a-due-date-85-P01209
5 Ultracound scans in pregnancy (2020). https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/ultrasound-anomaly-baby-scans-pregnant/