Spacefem's Weekly Wikipedia Pregnancy Blog: 23 weeks pregnant

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This week's articles

Month Week Day Article
5 23W,0D 161A Nice Girl Like Me
5 23W,1D 162Pre-labor
5 23W,2D 163Birth attendant
5 23W,3D 164Catharina Cramer
5 23W,4D 165Pacifier
5 23W,5D 166Breast pump
5 23W,6D 167Childbirth positions

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It's time to talk about Naegele's Rule... I'm so excited!

This is the guideline that we've used for hundreds of years to calculate due dates. It's what tells us that pregnancy is 40 weeks long. I am obsessed with due dates. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I dove deep (way too deep) into the question of whether due dates are accurate or not. I read studies, I got in debates, I launched a giant survey to ask women if their babies are early or late.

What I learned is that due dates are actually pretty good. I mean, very few babies actually arrive on their due dates, but 40 weeks is a good stab at the average. Most babies are born within a week of their due date, that's why we like to talk about pregnancy lasting "40 weeks". Your due date is in the middle of the days where you're most likely to go into labor.

But that's all it is... a likely day, and an average. That means half of all babies are born before their due date, half after it.

This brings me to Spacefem's Ninth Commandment of Pregnancy: don't think of your due date as a cliff with an edge, think of it as the top of the hill. You're incredibly likely to go into labor at 40 weeks, 1 day. Lots of women do. When your due date approaches, I like to say you're riding the top of a curve... and you stay on top of it for several days.

If you hit 41-42 weeks, you're officially, statistically, late. Your doctor probably has a plan. But if you hit 40 weeks, do not freak out. And make sure everyone around you knows you plan to not freak out. For distant relatives and coworkers, don't even tell them your due date, just say "mid-June" and leave it at that. You don't want them driving you crazy with the "had that baby yet?" questions every ten minutes! You can even tack days onto your due date, tell them it's later than it is, so they won't know you've gone over.

The more mentally ready you are to go past your due date, the better you'll feel about it. And if you don't go over, you'll be pleasantly surprised. It just works out great.

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