As I type this post, I’m 39 weeks + pregnant. I have been receiving comments, predictions and questions on my social media accounts since the beginning of 36 weeks about the date of arrival of our baby. Some are merely predictions (thats sweet!), some are annoyingly direct comparisons to their own experience of birthing but most common and ignorant question received was ”when is your EDD (Estimated due date)?” I have had MBBS doctors from India and Bangladesh, who happen to be my school mate, Beautographer’s friends, relatives etc. asking me this question which is going to make me sound so pompous and reply with another question, ”have you studied anything at all in medical college? Or was it a fake degree you obtained?” Why? Because as a non medical professional and also someone who is going through her first pregnancy, my own learnings about pregnancy, labour and birthing are more informed and up to date than ”these people” who only cares about EDD and not biology and science around it. Let me explain to you elaborately. The average pregnancy lasts about 280 days or 40 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period. But babies grow at different rates: some may arrive 2-3 weeks before the predicted due date, and some 2-3 weeks after. The baby was conceived after the menstrual cycle began—but the mystery is exactly when fertilisation occurred. Bio-science!
Now let’s shed some light on the myth of estimated due date. As your estimated due date creeps ever closer, you’re bound to be feeling anxious for labour to begin. You’re no doubt excited to meet your baby and, understandably, ready to get the birth out of the way. Only around 5% of babies are born on their due date. You read that correct! Remember, your due date is just an estimation and it’s not yet possible to predict exactly when labour will begin. That said, there are a few things you can try to speed up the process. If nothing else, it will give you something to focus on so you can distract yourself from the hundreds of daily text messages and phone calls (I have already blocked some of the numbers on Whatsapp who repeatedly ask me ”when is your EDD?”) asking if there’s any news yet. The reality is, I already share an update almost every single day on social media, that’s kind of both my job and lifestyle. If anything happens or when it will happen, I’ll eventually share it on my own, in my own time. So, as precautionary measures, from this coming week, I may turn my phone off and won’t post until Beautographer and I will be ready to share our baby’s arrival with the world. Don’t be worried that anything went wrong. Not everything in life needs ”real time” posting on social media. Your EDD should be one of them! Notice, we have shared the month of baby’s arrival but not a specific date.
The important thing to remember is that your baby will come when he or she is ready, so let your body decide the birthday of your child, not the neighbours, friends, family members or even doctors unless you have a high-risk pregnancy which compels you to have an elective C-Section. If all is well with your pregnancy so far, have faith in your body and mother nature.1