The practice of assigning a specific due date to a pregnancy can have negative effects on both the expectant mother and the child. While it is important to have a general estimate of when a baby will be born, the current emphasis on a precise due date can create unnecessary stress and pressure for pregnant women and may even lead to negative health outcomes.
One of the main problems with due dates is that they are often based on a one-size-fits-all model that does not take into account individual variations in pregnancy. It is normal for babies to be born within a range of two weeks before or after the due date, but many women feel pressure to have their babies on the exact due date. This can lead to unnecessary medical interventions, such as inducing labor or scheduling a cesarean section, in an attempt to meet the due date. These interventions can carry risks for both the mother and the baby and may not be necessary if the pregnancy is allowed to progress naturally.
Another negative effect of due dates is the way they can create unrealistic expectations for pregnancy and childbirth. Many women feel pressure to have a "perfect" pregnancy and childbirth experience, but the reality is that every pregnancy and delivery is unique and unpredictable. This pressure can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for expectant mothers and may even lead to feelings of failure or inadequacy if the pregnancy or childbirth does not go according to plan.
Instead of focusing on a specific due date, it might be more beneficial to adopt a due month approach to pregnancy. This would allow for more flexibility and recognition of the individual variations that can occur during pregnancy. It would also take the pressure off of expectant mothers to have their babies on a specific date and allow for a more natural and healthy pregnancy and childbirth experience.
Dr. Joshua Welch
Dr. Josh lives, works, and plays in the Sierra Mountains. He is focused on creating a community of families that live outside the constraints of modern life.
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Living, Working, and Playing in the Sierra Mountains. Helping to create: Life, Health, and Community.