Should we stop talking about due dates?

Do you expect your baby on the due date? And if you are pregnant  (and around your due date) or overdue are you getting slightly annoyed with the constant enquiring whether you have birthed your baby yet?

Only about 4% of babies are born on their “due date” so the likelihood that you will birth your baby on that date is tiny. Although I remember a midwife I worked with telling the story of a couple turning up at the hospital on their due date expecting the baby would be born.

If only we could schedule our labour, birth and expected recovery in the diary… But no, pregnancy is the perfect time to learn to go with the flow, be present and live in the moment. A lesson we all need to embrace babies or not!

pregnancy is the perfect time to learn to go with the flow, be present and live in the moment.

What is the birth due window?

I much prefer the term a due window. Most babies are born in the window between one week before the due date and one week after. However, anything between week 37-42 is considered normal. And perhaps that should be our due window rather than a specific due date.

Let’s also consider how we are calculating the due date. In the UK we count the weeks from the first day of your last period. Most likely not the day you conceive. Depending on your cycle you may have conceived around day 10-16 or whatever day you ovulate. However, counting from day 1 of your period on 40 weeks is considered your due date.

In France, the due date is calculated from when it is thought you conceived and then adding 39 weeks.

You are likely to experience some pressure from your health care providers by the end of week 41 and week 42 if you have yet to birth your baby/babies. If you are “overdue”. You may want to investigate the pros and cons of getting induced so you can make an informed decision. Because the decision is yours.

What to do around your due date – or your due window

Do exactly what you feel like! Listen to your body and your energy. And if you have any health concerns please honour you and your baby/babies health, safety and wellbeing.

I often get the asked for how long a pregnant person can practise yoga. And my answer is: Continue as long as you like. I love the idea of active births, of moving through labour and letting the body move while birthing your baby/babies. Many babies have been born in the night after my yoga classes. Some had pre-labour during class – and indeed someone’s waters broke during class. Do what you feel is right in your body.

If you feel like moving and being active please do. Slouching on the sofa does nothing for the optimal fetal position or the position of your baby/babies. It’s bad for the pelvic floor and usually gives an achy back. Get down on all fours, go into Child’s pose, sit on a gym/birth ball, walk, dance and flow.

The biggest yoga lesson in pregnancy is staying in the moment, breathe, and be present.

You can join my prenatal yoga classes in Streatham or online anywhere. And if you want to teach prenatal yoga please join me on my pregnancy yoga teacher training course.