The most common question I was asked during my pregnancy wasn't, "Can I hold the door for you?" Or, "Would you like a nap?" All anyone wanted to know was when I was due. "When is my due date?" was the first question to cross my mind too, but I more or less put it out of my head after my doctor explained that due dates aren't all that informative — for patients, anyway. "No one gives birth on their due date," she told me, as I excitedly marked November 14th in the calendar on my phone. "It's really more like a due month."
Romper reached out to Sara Twogood, MD, OB-GYN and contributor to The Bump, for information about how to calculate your due date. She kindly explains that women can get a due date at home by calculating from their last period or using an online due date calculator, but she was careful to reinforce that "the most accurate dating is with a first trimester ultrasound." Because your due date will follow you throughout your pregnancy, trust me — you want a good one.
While due dates are an imprecise reference point for pregnant women and their families, they're crucial for providers. The primary job of obstetricians managing a normal pregnancy is to watch, wait, and measure. They're interested in how your weight, blood sugar, fundal height, and the size of your fetus stack up against the average woman's pregnancy, because a major deviation can give them a head's up if something goes wrong. An accurate due date is the starting point for a host of critical calculations that really matter to the health of mom and baby.