Due Dates are Dumb!

Pregnancy Confidential: Week 34 – Due Dates are Dumb!

Why this podcast?
This podcast stood out for me in terms of its style. It’s hosted by editors from Parenting and Fit Pregnancy and Baby magazines and consists of a series of thirty-two episodes designed to be listened to week by week.

It’s a little similar to Preggie Pals, which I featured in this post, in that it is hosted by a small group of women who chat, laugh and share information for your pregnancy and birth as well as personal experiences.

It’s fairly fun and light-hearted and each episode features two regular sections –

”How big is your baby?” compares the size of your baby to various fruit and vegetables.
A little weird but it works.
In this episode, a thirty-four week baby was estimated to be the same size as a musk melon. No, I’m not entirely sure what that is either.

The ”Relax, you’ve got this” section this week featured ”labour room lingo” where, amoung other terms, they explored external and internal fetal monitoring, meconium and back labour.

I’m not entirely convinced that this podcast is the place I would point clients for a lot of detailed information but there are some fun and interesting episodes to get you thinking.

The Pregnancy Confidential website really captures the essence of this podcast –

“Each episode walks listeners through the physical, emotional and all-round quirks of each week of pregnancy. This is real-talk, girlfriend-to-girlfriend stuff—no hard-to-understand medical information here.

This podcast will be your best friend, taking you through the real feelings—the joy and the annoyances—of pregnancy so you never have to experience any of it alone. And it’ll have you chuckling all along the way.”

How does it look?
As I mentioned, there are a thirty-two episodes in total covering body image, picking a baby name, weird advice people give, new parent mistakes, postpartum depression and induction to name but a few.
Each episode is only ten to twenty minutes long so there really is no excuse not to check one out!

Why this episode?
It’s so easy to get hung-up on a due date and to get disheartened when your baby does not show up on that day. This episode helps to make it clear that due dates really are dumb and that it is best to think of your baby arriving somewhere in a much broader time-frame.

Who should listen to this episode?
Probably all pregnant women could benefit from listening to both the information shared and the personal experience of the presenters.
No, none of them gave birth on their due date.

The episode
Only five percent of women give birth on their due dates.
Yep, five percent.

Why is that?

Well, your due date is calculated by taking the first day of your last period and adding two hundred and eighty days.

For a start, not everyone will know the exact date that their last period began.

Secondly, women have different cycle lengths and are not always regular.

Oh, and thirdly, women and babies are not machines.
Babies develop at different rates, not on a set schedule.

They are ready for birth when they are ready for birth.

As a doula, I love when an episode includes some evidenced-based information. So, here it is-

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences did a study from which they concluded that the length of a healthy pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks.

Yes, five weeks.

That means that your due date is really more of a guess date and your baby could be ready to meet you a couple of weeks before or after that.

So, why is this an issue?

Well, I was happy to hear the presenters point out that while you may think of yourself as being thirty-seven or thirty-eight weeks pregnant you may in fact only be thirty-five or thirty-six weeks.

I was slightly disappointed that they then went on to say that this could be a problem if your family have to spend a lot of money travelling to be with you for the birth and end up getting there way too early.

I guess I still had my doula hat on but for me the issue here is induction.
I’ve said it before but this is one of the reasons that, barring a true medical necessity, it really is best to let your baby decide when to come and to avoid induction.

To wrap up
I am simply going to say –

Stop thinking due date, start thinking guess date

I hope you’ll find that just by doing that one, simple thing, you will lift some of the pressure you might be feeling to deliver the goods by a set date.

I’m curious to know what you think of this podcast and to find out if anyone has listened to other episodes from Pregnancy Confidential.

Also, if anyone has ideas or suggestions for specific episodes, podcasts or topics to feature in future posts please drop me a comment below.
Inspire me!

Other episodes related to this topic
Fear Free Childbirth: Your Due Date is Wrong

Birthful: The Problem with Due Dates

The Longest Shortest Time: Due Date Desert

The Pregnancy Podcast: Induction

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By emilywills

Emily Wills is a doula based in Stockholm. She believes that birth can be a beautiful and empowering experience and started this blog as a way of sharing some really great podcasts. She is also a mother of three and an enthusiastic runner.

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