In an amazing new research compilation and review, Evidence Based Birth has done it again. Author and site owner Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN, has combed through existing research and studies and gives us an in-depth look at what it all says -- and what it means -- regarding due dates. She answers questions like:
- What does it mean to be "full term?"
- Why is choosing an induction for non-medical reasons so controversial?
- How do you figure out your due date?
- Where did we get our method for figuring out our due date?
- What's the most accurate way to determine a due date?
- Whether or not a due date should be changed later in pregnancy.
- How long a pregnancy really is.
- Risks and benefits of going past your due date.
The article is long, and chock full of statistics, data, and research (and is well cited), which for some, can feel overwhelming. If you need more information on how to interpret reseach, check out Understanding Reseach from Lamaze educator Andrea Lythgoe. At the end of the piece, Dekker boils the information down into a nice summary of the most important points. And as an added bonus, she includes several profile-worthy graphics for pregnant families (like the one right). How can this new resource serve you in your pregnancy?
- Help you better choose (or change to) a care provider who practices according to best evidence.
- Learn more about your own due date -- and how it's not an expiration date, but a rough guide.
- Provide talking points to discuss with your care provider. Print it out, bring it to him/her and open a discussion surrounding induction, VBAC, postdates, ultrasound, and more.
- Help you -- and your extended family -- know that in most cases, it's OK to go past 40 weeks.
- Feel less anxious toward the end of your pregnancy. (To be clear, I did not say "less uncomfortable.")
- Help you make more informed decisions about your birth.