Probability of delivery within x days of a given date

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This graph shows only babies born as a result of spontaneous (non-induced) labor (76% of all participants).

Do babies come on their due dates? Not really. But they seem to come around their due dates. In the survey, only 687 out of 15526 (4.4%) spontaneously arrived on the exact day. But if you look around that date, the numbers get bigger fast... 3812 babies (24.6%) arrived spontaneously between 39 weeks 4 days and 40 weeks 3 days. 7243 (46.7%) arrived spontaneously within a week of their due date. Throwing out inductions makes those percentages even higher: 61.3% of all non-induced babies arrived within a week of their due date.

I also think this graph is important because it shows how meaningless it is to move a due date one or two days. For example I have a chart comparing first time moms to mothers who've had previous births, and it shows about a 1-2 day difference. But based on this graph, who cares about a day?

What I mean is this: a woman who's not induced has a 61.3% chance of giving birth within a week of her due date. Let's say we lie to her and tell her a date that's three days early. Now she has a 60.6% chance of delivering within a week of that "wrong" date. It's not really a huge difference.

Data Table

DayIn weeksBabies Spontaneously Born
24535W,0D23
24635W,1D22
24735W,2D22
24835W,3D25
24935W,4D24
25035W,5D27
25135W,6D25
25236W,0D45
25336W,1D31
25436W,2D46
25536W,3D49
25636W,4D40
25736W,5D51
25836W,6D60
25937W,0D88
26037W,1D88
26137W,2D85
26237W,3D98
26337W,4D123
26437W,5D119
26537W,6D159
26638W,0D195
26738W,1D161
26838W,2D176
26938W,3D224
27038W,4D286
27138W,5D260
27238W,6D306
27339W,0D369
27439W,1D340
27539W,2D345
27639W,3D461
27739W,4D468
27839W,5D469
27939W,6D536
28040W,0D687
28140W,1D612
28240W,2D535
28340W,3D505
28440W,4D455
28540W,5D490
28640W,6D484
28741W,0D487
28841W,1D372
28941W,2D302
29041W,3D293
29141W,4D208
29241W,5D154
29341W,6D134
29442W,0D96
29542W,1D43
29642W,2D31
29742W,3D28
29842W,4D13
29942W,5D15
30042W,6D10
30143W,0D13

Due Date Survey Data

Due date statistics: A study on the length of pregnancy
Probability of delivery resulting from spontaneous labor after 35 weeks
Probability of delivery within x days of a given date
Length of pregnancy by week
Spontaneous labor and due date determination
Length of pregnancy, comparing subsequent births for individual moms
Length of pregnancy for first time vs. second & third time moms
Length of pregnancy, type of delivery
Gestation vs. Birthweight
Probablity of Induction after a given day
Average day of spontaneous labor vs. age of mother at time of birth
Are more babies born during a full moon?
What's the most common day of the week for babies to be born?
I'm still pregnant at 40W. What's it mean?
Do winter babies arrive later?
What if I know my conception date?
Are boys or girls born later?
Subsequent pregnancy date search
How do inductions bias the due date statistics?
Download the data
Birth Stories
Survey input dates

More Resources

Pregnancy Day-by-Day
Fast pregnancy calendar
Baby age calendar
EDD Icon Generator
Jo's Birth Story
Weeks vs. Months Explained
Charts generated by flot
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