How accurate is your due date? Have I mentioned that before? For example, using the Fertility Awareness Method gives you the information you need to accurately calculate your due date if and when you get pregnant. When you are tracking your fertile signs with fertility awareness the most definitive way to identify the date of ovulation is by taking your basal body temperature every morning. Your basal body temperature is a measurement of your metabolic rate. Kind of like when hens sit on their eggs to keep them warm before they hatch.
The fantastic thing about this natural bodily process is that you can easily measure this shift in temperature by getting into the habit of taking and recording your temperature each morning before you get out of bed. This measurement does not allow you to predict ovulation because your temperature will only increase after you have already ovulated. With that being said, once you have confirmed your temperature shift you know that you have ovulated, and you also know that you ovulated on the day prior to the shift.
How is my due date calculated anyways? Before I got pregnant the first time I had no idea how due dates were calculated. This is because the soonest that pregnancy tests work is about 2 weeks after ovulation. Right around the time, your period was supposed to come, which is technically about 4 weeks after the first date of your last period….
Babies have a gestational period of about days 40 weeks , so your doctor will add days to the first date of your last period and voila you have your due date. The calculation also assumes that you ovulated on day 14 of your cycle.
My husband and I were so excited! But the very next day I started bleeding. I miscarried at a very early stage, 5 weeks to be exact. Maybe I would have just thought it was my period. It went in one ear and out the other. Based on the first date of my last period I was 6 weeks pregnant. He sent me for an ultrasound and even commented on how small the baby was for the number of weeks along I was because according to his pregnancy calculator I was 6 weeks along.
Ovulation always happens on day 14, and that is really all there is to it. I mean, every woman ovulates on day 14 every single month, right? There is never any variation from woman to woman or from cycle to cycle. So I am left to wonder exactly how accurate this whole due date calculation thing is in general. An awful lot of women get induced every single day. No one is interested in having me explain the day that I actually ovulated. So when I fell pregnant the second time I was prepared.
So I took it upon myself to calculate 14 days prior to my ovulation date, and then every time I was asked when the first day of my last menstrual cycle was I lied and told my doctor and my midwife that it was 14 days before I ovulated. The end result was an accurate due date based on my exact date of ovulation.
I figured that it was a win-win situation. I would get the proper due date assigned to me without having to have any awkward conversations ending in me not being listened to, and my doctors assigning me a due date that was 1 full week earlier than my actual due date.
About due dates In this day and age, it is becoming more and more evident that you have to be your own advocate when it comes to your health and your life.
For this reason, I feel that any practice that gives you more information about your health is powerful and should be utilized when possible. It is an amazing feeling to take away the mystery of conception and know the exact date of ovulation, and then use this information to accurately pin point your due date.
Pregnancy related care is in many ways determined by the due date and so accurately predicting the due date is important. For me, it boils down to having accurate information from which to make decisions about my prenatal care. That gives me the confidence to make important decisions and it also gives me peace of mind.
For example, one of my main concerns about the standard due date calculation is regarding the fluctuations that most women have in their cycles. As we all know, serious medical decisions are made based on these dates. Inductions happening too early, or too late for example. The study suggests that ultrasound dating is the most accurate way of determining the due date if done in the first trimester when most babies grow at a similar pace. After the first trimester, babies grow at increasingly different rates, and the accuracy of ultrasound dating decreases in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters as a result.
Most pregnancies undergoing post-term induction are not post-term when assessed by ultrasound dates. It also helps to increase your level of confidence and understanding when it comes to making decisions about interventions that may or may not be required depending on the situation.
Again it turns out that Fertility Awareness is more than just birth control, there are so many unexpected health-related benefits from gathering information about your menstrual cycles.
Have you had any children? If so, did you deliver on your due date? If not, when did you deliver? Please join in on the conversation in the comments below!