EDD is an Estimated date only!

This is my all time favourite topic to talk and educate pregnant women on. There really is so little correct information on the EDD. Here are my thoughts on this topic.
I cannot emphasise enough that EDD stands for an estimated due date. Although women are told that their EDD stands for an Expecting Due Date, there is sometimes an implication that they should be birthing on this day or before. Certainly, many obstetricians have policies that do not ‘allow’ women to go more than ten days overdue, counting from the EDD, which is only an estimate in the first place!
Most gestational lengths are gauged by Naegele’s Rule, which assumes that every pregnancy lasts 280 days from the last menstrual period, and of course that the period comes in a 28-day cycle and a woman always ovulates on day 14! This ‘rule’ does not take into consideration that some women have just come off the pill or perhaps have not had a period, and not all women menstruate in a 28 day cycle or ovulate on day 14. It amazes me how the medical approach to pregnancy and birth casts one mould for all women and does not take into consideration individual differences.
The EDD is often the first step in creating a performance anxiety. It can put into a woman’s mind the idea that she really has to go into labour sometime within close proximity of this date, and if she doesn’t, something is wrong with her body.
The problem lies in how much pressure the woman is put under to have her baby within cooeee of that estimate. What I have found during my research is that a great deal of pressure is placed on a woman who is over her EDD, especially as she is then often referred to as ‘overdue’, when in fact her personal body/baby clock may not be ready for the birth. It is so important to remember that the EDD is only an estimate and it is very much a case of give or take two weeks. Women should probably only be described as ‘overdue’ when they are at forty two weeks or more, as some babies need the whole forty two weeks for gestation.
I know from experience that every day over the estimated due date can feel like an eternity. However, as long as a baby is happy inside and all is fine, why rush this natural process — the baby has a hormone trigger that it releases when it is ready to be born. I know from experience how heavy a woman can feel, how swollen her feet can get and how huge and tired she can become as she gets close to birthing. It is hard not to opt for some assistance in getting things going, or give in to obstetric pressure to have an induction. Having an induction however is like playing with fire literally and many women do end up getting burnt. The problem with having an induction is women often travel down a road they do not wish to go down and end up on the ‘Cascade of Intervention’. A road that many wish they had not taken in the first place as the final destination/outcome is not one that they wanted or desired.
My suggestion to women waiting for the imminent birth-day or night is to appreciate that everyday being pregnant is a blessing and to be patient. Turn off your phones and pull back from the world and stop listening to others comments and stories aimed at you. Go for long walks along the beach or in the bush, tune into ‘Mother Nature’ – absorb yourself in your own positive inner thoughts. Be still, meditate or listen to hypnosis scripts to empower yourself and gather your inner strength. Above all else keep trusting and believing in your body that it can and will go into labour when the time is right for you and your baby. Be at peace with yourself and all that surrounds you. Have a little faith and really TRUST that all is in divine order.