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Prepare for Your Birth Month

What is the first question we ask when a woman says she is pregnant?

"What's your due date?" is close to the top of the list. 

Only five percent of women give birth on the "due date."  That means fully ninety five percent of women are either early or late.  What if instead we have a due month?  When someone asks, "When are you due?" the reply might be, "Oh sometime in August." Expanding the sense of when the baby is "due" offers a spaciousness and feeling of relaxation.  We no longer need to worry if the baby arrives within a particular twenty four hour period, we have a whole month.  In fact we might consider a due five week period.  Midwifery regulations allow home delivery between 37 and 42 weeks.  Eighty percent of babies are born within these parameters.  Only ten percent come before 37 weeks and 10 percent come after 42 weeks.  And of the babies born outside the due month, the vast majority are perfectly healthy.

The two standard methods of determining the due date, Last Menstrual Period and ultrasound scan have a margin of error of two weeks, that is seven days on either side of the due date.  Neither one of these methods is an exact science.  Since a healthy gestation period differs for every pregnancy, healthy birth needs a wide berth --the due month. 

The due month is a simple way for women to experience pregnancy and birth with the individual timing required.  The due month lessens anxiety about when the baby is "due" and increases confidence that the baby will arrive just on time.  Trusting the natural physiological process of pregnancy and birth promotes both physical and psychological health.

Written by Meria Loeks, Midwife, Doula Mentor, Childbirth Educator

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