A due date calculator is the set of guidelines used to estimate the due date of a pregnancy. This information not only gives you an idea of when you can expect your baby to come, but it also provides a time table for the prenatal care and tests you’ll have along the way. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant sometime in the future, we highly encourage you to learn more about how due dates are calculated and what to expect during each phase of your pregnancy.
How Doctors Typically Calculate Pregnancy
Most pregnancies last for about 40 weeks counting from the first day of the last menstrual period. To calculate your estimated due date on your own, subtract three days from the start of your last period, then add seven days and one year to get your estimated due date (EDD).
For example, if your last period started on July 15, 2016, subtract three days to get to July 12. Adding seven days then puts your EDD at July 19, 2017. Keep in mind, though, that the due date calculator is only a guess; only about 20 percent of babies are born on the EDD.
Alternate Due Date Calculations
For some women, the last menstrual period method is not an accurate way to calculate the due date. For example, doctors may use an alternate method if a woman has irregular cycles or does not remember the date of her last menstrual period. In this case, the due date can be estimated by examining the size of the uterus or with an early ultrasound. As the pregnancy progresses, milestones along the way can help confirm the estimated due date.
For example, you’ll be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope between 9 and 12 weeks, and movement is usually first felt between 16 and 22 weeks. If these milestones don’t line up, our doctor may adjust your estimated due date accordingly.
Next Steps When You’re Expecting
Once you get that positive pregnancy test, the due date calculator gives you an idea of how far along you are. At South Lake OB/GYN in Clermont, we would be happy to see you for your first prenatal visit. Our experts are here to help you every step of the way in your pregnancy journey.
During this first visit, we will examine your breasts and cervix, take a full medical history and conduct tests. In some cases, an ultrasound may be performed to date the pregnancy. Blood may also be taken to perform lab tests. Our specialist can give you guidelines to follow about nutrition and weight gain and answer any questions you have about your pregnancy. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!