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  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Due Date Calculations

" Making a decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body" Elizabeth Stone

When you find out you are pregnant, one of the questions at the top of your list is probably - When is my baby due? Your doctor will calculate your official due date at your first prenatal exam, which is usually scheduled between the 9th and 10th weeks of your pregnancy.
Too excited? Can't wait? Make your own estimate, based on the calculations below. Always remember that only 5% of babies actually arrive on their estimated due dates. Be prepared for your baby to arrive sooner or later. Pregnancy is measured in weeks and normally lasts between 37 and 42 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).

Naegele's Rule:

In 1850, Dr. Naegele determined that the average length of human gestation is 266 days from conception. He estimated that the average woman's menstrual cycle lasted 28 days and that she therefore ovulated on approximately day 14 of her cycle. He used this data to formulate a mathematical equation known as Naegele's Rule:
Expected date of delivery (EDD)/ estimated date of confinement (EDC) = the first day of a woman's last menstrual period (LMP) plus 1 year, subtract 3 months and add 7 days.
The date obtained, is approximately 280 days or 40 weeks from the LMP.

For example:

LMP = 8 May 2007
+ 1 year = 8 May 2008
3 months = 8 February 2008
+ 7 days = 15 February 2008

The rule can be made fully precise by checking the day of the week, of your last menstrual period, and adjusting the due date to land on the same day of the week. Using the above example, 8 May 2007 is a Tuesday. The calculated due date (15 February 2008) is a Friday; adjusting to the closest Tuesday produces 12 February 2008, which is the correct due date.

Alternatively, use these 3 easy steps, for a basic calculation:

All you need is a calculator.
Write down the date of the first day of your last normal menstrual period (LMP).
Add exactly 9 months and 7 days, to this date, to calculate your due date.

Parikh's Formula:

The inherent flaw of Naegele's Rule, is that it presumes that the menstrual cycle is regular and of 28 days duration. In contrast, Parikh's Formula takes into account cycle duration and a woman's menstrual history. According to Parikh's Formula, a woman's due date should be calculated as follows:

Expected date of delivery (EDD) = Last menstrual period (LMP) + 9 months +
(Duration of previous cycles - 21 days)

For example:
LMP = 8 May 2007 and the duration of previous cycles is hypothetically 32 days
EDD = 8 May 2007 + 9 months + ((32-21) -= 11)
EDD = 19 February 2008

Other factors that may influence your due date:
One study found that 15 days need to be added to Naegele EDC (some physicians use the term expected date of confinement, or EDC, to describe the due date) for Caucasian women and first time moms. 10 days should be added for Caucasian moms having subsequent children. African and Asian women tend to have shorter gestations.

Ultrasound is an effective way of dating a pregnancy, especially if there is a question of menstrual history. However, ultrasound is most accurate in predicting your due date, if it is done in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Quickening- the first time mom feels the baby move.

Foetal heart tones, heard either through the stethoscope or doppler.

Fundal height- measurement of the uterus through pregnancy.

Important facts to remember regarding your due date:

Few women give birth on their actual due date and 80% of babies are born within 10 days of the due date. This is a fairly large window, beginning 10 days before and extending 10 days after the due date. As a result, any pregnancy that occurs during this time frame- between 36 and 42 weeks- is regarded as full term.

Approximately 8-10% of women give birth early, between 20 and 36 weeks; while the remaining 8% give birth after the 42nd week.


In modern practice, calculators, reference cards or sliding wheels are used to add 280 days to a woman's LMP, in order to calculate her due date. The most important thing to bear in mind is that any calculation of a gestation length is merely an estimation of an average. It is therefore helpful to consider gestation time as a range of dates rather than a single "due date".

" A new baby is like the beginning of all things, hope, a dream of possibilities"