One of the first things we do when we discover we’re expecting is tell all of our friends and family our baby’s expected due date. A note is made in the diaries, popped on the wall calendars in kitchens and treated like an official birthday, with people counting down each day that passes until your little bundle of joy arrives on the scene. It’s an incredibly exciting time and for first time Moms; a long and anxious wait!
Due dates are all well and good, however the reality is that less than 5% of babies actually arrive on their due date; with many babies arriving late, particularly with first time pregnancies. The actual date on which your baby arrives can be dependent on lots of different factors, not to mention that your exact date of conception is somewhat an estimate based on your ovulation cycle and the date of your last period.
The problem with sharing your due date is that if you are unfortunate enough to be kept waiting by your baby, the constant asking for updates by well-meaning friends and family can become somewhat tedious; actually increasing your stress and anxiety levels making labor when it does arrive a far more fractured and emotional experience than in needs to be.
When you due date approaches, with no signs of your baby’s arrival, you can fully expect to receive lots of messages via every means possible chasing for updates; asking if you’re still pregnant, whether you’ve had any signs and then reassuring you that your baby will come when its ready or that you’re clearly making it too comfortable! When my first child was 2 weeks late, I found the constant messages so frustrating I eventually turned my phone off, instead spending my time attempting all the tried and tested methods to try and induce labor naturally. It definitely made me feel the pressure and the longer it went on, the more anxious I became that something was wrong and worry about membrane sweeps and needing an induction.
People begin to analyze your every move on social media and if you haven’t updated your status in the last 2 hours(!) people begin to assume that you must of course be in labor, or appear really disappointed when you materialize again, still as pregnant as ever.
So why do we share our due dates at all? Why not only share it with those who NEED to know such as your employer or medical team? Is it easier to simply share a birth month, saying “our baby is due in June” or even suggest a date 2 weeks later to buy you some time?
Deciding whether to reveal your due date is obviously a very personal choice, but if you are prone to being anxious and impatient, being vague may certainly be something to consider! Your baby’s birth date is very very hard to predict, and whilst you friends may love the idea of attempting to guess the birth date at your baby shower, it is ultimately your baby that will decide when they want to make their grand appearance!
Did you share your due date?