My estimated due date (which everyone - Holistic and Western Practitioners - agrees is kinda a month range and a bit of a joke) was Sept 6th. Again, full term pregnancies are 38 weeks (Aug 24th) to 42 weeks (Sept 20th) so I am 6 days past "full term" BUT in the modern medicine world we live in - I am viewed as 2 weeks and 6 days past due - GASP!
I've been met with a lot of support AND a lot of societal pressure every time I go somewhere or talk to someone about how far along I am. It's been an interesting experience and a chance for me to get some education.
The main reason why people - mothers and docs alike - are concerned about postterm pregnancy is due to malnourishment of the baby. At 41ish weeks many women - myself included - go to a perinatalogist and get an ultra sound to check the placenta and amniotic fluid - both nourish the baby! If both of these are healthy and plentiful and the baby is moving - there is no real reason to induce.
I'll spare you with my thoughts on women getting pressured into inducing or how induction via natural processes or petocin can often lead to longer more painful labors etc......
Instead I'll share with you a few things that I've learned about "longer than normal" gestation periods and a few reasons that might account for my still pregnant belly!
The Internet is full of "information" - I feel confident sharing these with you because they came directly from conversations with my health care provider/mid-wife!
- 5-10% of Women's natural gestation period is 43-44 weeks. Just this week I've spoken with 5 ladies at yoga or at a local maternity shop who carried into their 43rd week (my sister in law being one of them!) So, my guess is that this number would be higher if the pressure/scare to induce wasn't so great.
- The mother's natural cycle is longer than 28 days. Estimated Due Date is even LESS accurate if your cycle isn't 28 days exactly! I just found out about Nichol's Rule from my mid-wife. According to this, my estimated due date was more like Sept 20-24th (not the 6th). A few folks who I talked to about this wondered "why it's not the norm for due date estimation" but my guess is that most women sadly don't know her own stats to plug into the formula!
- Inaccurate Dating. This BLOG talks about all the reasons dating can be off - Note even dating ultrasounds are a plus or minus 2 weeks! ....we didn't get a sonogram at all.....
- Ovulation variance due to Sickness - Body Composition - I knew that cycles and ovulation varied from woman to woman BUT didn't realize how much one woman's cycle could vary due to training, sickness, body composition!! In other words, a woman may typically ovulate on the 12-14th day BUT due to 2 weeks of the flu her body ovulates 10 days later, etc! This makes "knowing" much harder unless you're testing everyday/every month (more power to anyone who does that!)
- Slower Gestation due to Sickness and Spouse's State. I couldn't find much on the www about this that didn't straight SCARE me - so I stopped searching:) I'll just share what my mid-wife believes - in our most primal state women look to our partners for protection and we won't go into labor when they can't protect us from the "neighboring tribe" - So, if your partners is out of town, stressed to the 9's about work, or sick your body may delay labor. The same goes for sickness - if you're sick then the Chi is taken from the baby and mildly slows progress.