Should You Share Your Due Date?
We all know that due dates are guess dates, right? A baby can be delivered healthy "at term" starting at 38 weeks to 42 weeks. That's a big chunk of time! Did you know that only 4% of baby's are actually born on their due date? When it comes to my practice, I've yet to have a client deliver their baby on their due date!
According to Evidence Based Birth's article on Due Dates, "Researchers found that 50% of all women giving birth for the first time gave birth by 40 weeks and 5 days, while 75% gave birth by 41 weeks and 2 days. Meanwhile, 50% of all women who had given birth at least once before gave birth by 40 weeks and 3 days, while 75% gave birth by 41 weeks." These results tell us point blank, that 41 weeks is more the norm than 40 weeks, regardless if it is your first birth or not.
All that being said, is it a good idea to share your due date when evidence shows us that it's highly unlikely that your due date really means much of anything?
When you share your due date, it's important to remember that friends and family take serious note. If you happen to go past your due date, you will likely be bombarded with daily texts from loved ones asking you if "anything has happened yet". This can feel incredibly overwhelming, especially if you are "past due" in societies terms. Your well meaning social media post sharing your due date can be interpreted as set in stone to your old middle school friend. A check in to see if you had your baby yet can also be met with a lot of unsolicited advice as to how you can get your baby "out".
I encourage clients, if they are comfortable, to share their "due month" with folks rather their "due date". This gives you lots of room, without feeling like you are a watched pot. If you're due at the end of a month, you can say "I'm due sometime late September, early October!". If you already shared your due date, not to worry! You can still move forward when new inquiring voices ask with a different, more broad answer. Plus, does the cashier at Whole Foods really need to know when you're giving birth?
If you are "past due", receiving lots of texts and calls from folks asking if the baby is here yet, and feeling over it, here's a tip. If you have social media, you can make a status that says. "Hey all! I appreciate all the love and concern over my pregnancy. I promise to inform everyone when the baby is born. Until then, I will be off social media." You can also send a text to family/friends letting them know the same. "I'll be sure to update everyone once the baby is born. Until then, I appreciate if you could withhold from checking in so I do not feel like a watched pot."