Now you're pregnant: why it's okay to be purposefully vague about your due date
I do not include any of your healthcare professionals in this. The people you've enlisted to be part of your pregnancy and labour team will need the absolute specifics. Obviously.
Extended family, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues, I'm looking at you!
From the moment you announce you are pregnant, it seems like the world wants to know when you are due.
February 12th you will say, without thinking. And somehow, this date burrows into their head for safekeeping.
From mid-January you'll fielding general enquiries about whether or not you are in labour.
Should you wake up still pregnant on February 13th it may become almost a full-time job to assure everyone that you are fine.
Those phone calls create unnecessary extra stress and pressure inside our cells.
What if we could nib this in the bud before we got to the repetitive cycle of 'nope....no baby yet....yes, I'm still pregnant....' phone calls?
What if we were never so specific about our due date in the first place?
What if we answered 'So when are you due?' by saying 'just before Christmas' instead of 'December 6th'?
Or 'end of May' instead of May 18th.
Or, as the royals do, get fancy and define by season - 'end of summer'.
The idea is simply to push back everyones expectations just a little. To give yourself some breathing room.
It's also worth remembering they're called estimated due dates for a reason.
Turns out it's all very normal and boring to be still pregnant past your due date.
As a society we have this notion that most women birth on their due date. Maybe a day before, or after. To most peoples minds anything else seems a bit extreme.
Guess what percentage of women birth their babes on their actual estimated due date?
Yep. That's right. Line up one hundred big swollen pregnant bellies and only five of them will likely have their precious babies on their 'due date'.
Even more interesting, research in recent years actually suggests that first time mums may be most likely to give birth five days after their due date. Check out the link to fabulous resource, Evidence Based Birth, if you want to know more of the ins-and-outs of estimated due dates.
But in the meantime, my point is to just know that this is your pregnancy.
This is your process.
This will be your labour.
You can line it up to unfold any way you like.
It may seem premature to be thinking about the end of your pregnancy if you're still in your first trimester. I get that. And that's okay.
Just know that any opportunity you have to reduce the perceived pressure you may feel under towards the end of your pregnancy is defiantly defiantly worth exploring.