Monday, September 14, 2009

So when are you due?

At my appointment Friday, my midwife said that otherwise healthy white women usually go into their 41st week. (aka past their EDD). I thought that was pretty interesting.

A due date is just a GUESS of about when the baby will come. A guess with a margin of error of about 2 weeks either way. What I don't understand is why doctors cause such a fuss over a date that is based on info that the patient gave them in the first place. Women are routinely induced based on this arbitrary number which often leads to cascade of more unnecessary interventions.

I was googling around and found this article quite interesting:
http://parenting.ivillage.com/pregnancy/0,,jb56,00.html

It says that some German OB in the 1800's came up with the 40 week gestation period and that it has been proven that it's not all that accurate, but it is still the standard used by Drs today. It confirmed what the midwife told me:

When researchers in the late 1980s followed a group of healthy, white women with regular menstrual cycles, they discovered that pregnancy in first-time mothers averaged eight days longer than this, or forty-one weeks plus one day. The average was three days longer than forty weeks in women with prior births. The researchers also refer to other studies suggesting that other races may have average pregnancy lengths that are shorter than white women.

And that is given that you are sure of your dates and have a "regular" 28 day cycle, which many women do not. W came a few days after his EDD but I think that my membranes were stripped without my consent. So that would have kicked things into gear. I know that the worst part is the mental stress that you feel when you pass that date. On top of your physical discomfort, you begin to doubt that your body will ever go into labor on it's own and the Drs seem to confirm that.

As much as I wish I knew when this baby is coming, you can't predict these things exactly.

True for you?

2 comments:

  1. Oh for sure. My first I went a week over and would have went longer had they not induced. Same with all the other pregnancies. I probably would have went from 41-42 with all of my babies.

    Nell

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  2. i also heard the 41 weeks 1 day stat in my bradley classes. made it much more OK to not have the baby by my due date. and guess what? both of my babies were 8 days late!!

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