What is my due date? When will the baby arrive? These are common questions asked by expectant moms that are excited about their delivery date. Pregnancy or human gestation is same for every woman. It takes about 38 weeks from the date of conception until the child is born.
Very few expectant mothers know their exact date of conception. As it's possible that sperms hang out for a few days in fallopian tube and then fertilize the egg. The time at which fertilization occurs is the conception time. Since the conception time is rarely known, pregnancy calculator is a convenient tool to determine the due date. Due date is just an estimation that give a general idea of when the baby will arrive. Only 5% of babies are actually born on their due date, but you need to have a general idea about the due date(s) to monitor the progress and development of your baby.
What is pregnancy calculator?
Pregnancy calculator is a simple tool to confirm the due date on the basis of Last Menstrual Period (LMP). Simply by entering the last menstruation date, you can figure out due date and several other dates like conception date, end of first and second trimester, and week-by-week pregnancy.
Calculating based on LMP:
1. Determine the last menstruation period before you conceived: This method works best for women who have menstruation cycle of 28 days.
2. Add 40 weeks to that date: Usually pregnancy takes 09 months, 40 weeks or 280 days from the last month's period date.
3. Remember Naegele's rule: This is the easiest method to figure out due date. Take out the first day of your last period, count 3 months backward, add 7 days to it and add an entire year. The result comes out is your due date according to Naegele's rule.
4. Choose other methods if you do not remember your LMP or have irregular cycles: In this case, it is difficult to find out the due date. To get an accurate measure, you have to wait for the time you visit the doctor and have an ultrasound to know the gestational age.
Use an online calculator
1. Search for an online calculator: Click on a reputed website link to find out the due date. Search "free due date calculator" in the search window.
2. Provide your LMP: Many online calculators suggest you to enter LMP and after providing the exact date, it will calculate your due date automatically.
Calculation at doctor's office
1. Visit your doctor: Estimating the due date using online pregnancy due date calculator or on your own will give you a rough idea about when you might deliver. But a doctor can confirm accurate results on the gestation period. The doctor may order a vaginal ultrasound to determine the delivery date. When ultrasounds are performed early in pregnancy, they are more accurate to determine fetal growth and due dates. But if they are performed later, they only help in seeing if the fetus is working well, not in determining the fetal age.
2. Be prepared: A due date is not set according to pregnancy conception calculator; your baby will pop out when it is ready to and not a day sooner or later. Due date can't be changed mid-term.
Further, pregnancy is divided into three trimesters that last about 12-14 week each. All these weeks and trimesters can be calculated on different dates, so not all trimesters' calculations are same.
Pregnancy calculator week by week
- When healthcare practitioners talk about gestation period, they divide it into three trimesters and determine pregnancy calculator week by week
- First trimester is week 1 to the end of 13th week and consists of 1st , 2nd, and 3rd month. During this period, the fetus implants into the womb. This is the most important trimester and requires extra care
- Second trimester usually ends around 26th week from the first trimester and consists of 4th, 5th, and 6th month. In this period, the baby grows rapidly and most women start feeling the movement of fetus in the womb
- Third trimester can end anywhere between 38th to 40th week and completes in 7th, 8th, and 9th month of pregnancy. This gestation period runs through the delivery date of the child. During this period, the size of fetus increases and stretches the abdomen and uterus of woman. The fetus is most active at this period and as the child fills all the space in abdomen, movements will be less but stronger. During the last 2 to 3 weeks, contraction begins that will force down baby to the birth canal and prepares for birth
Typical pregnancy is expected to last 40 weeks, pregnancy week calculator often matches the duration that can be taken into consideration of the overdue baby. It is often possible to find a range of such tools online and they often vary in accuracy.
How else due date can be calculated?
There are some additional tools that will help a medical practitioner find out EDD (Estimated due date) and to confirm the stages of pregnancy.
- Size of Uterus: The size of uterus at initial examination can be used to determine the due date
- An Early Ultrasound: Ultrasounds at the early stages of pregnancy can more accurately determine the EDD
- Fetal Heartbeat: A fetal heartbeat can be heard at 9th to 12th week of pregnancy, it can give you clues about the due date
- Fundal Height: Top of uterus is measured by doctor at first prenatal visit and at 20th week it will reach to the naval which helps the doctor confirm the EDD.
Your pregnancy due date can be changed at anytime due to various reasons like irregular periods cycle and abnormal fundal height. You need to follow some health tips and exercise routine for a healthy pregnancy. As a part of prenatal care, your doctor may offer a dating scan that will give you more accurate date for the birth of child. Search for pregnancy calculator at online resources that are aimed to help expectant mothers and babies.