One of the first things I did when finding out I was pregnant was calculating my due date. In the US and UK, the due date is calculated by counting 40 weeks from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual cycle. This includes 2 weeks until conception and 38 weeks of gestation.
When I went to see my doctor in France for the first time, I was confident that my due date was October 3. To my surprise, he said that it was October 10. After disbelief that my French doctor was wrong, I knew there had to be a logical explanation why he was calculating 41 weeks instead of 40 weeks of pregnancy.
I found out that doctors in France calculate the due date by starting 2 weeks from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual cycle and then count 9 months. So 2 weeks until conception and 39 weeks of pregnancy – resulting in 41 weeks of pregnancy. This is why my doctor’s date was one week further than my calculation.
After my first ultrasound, the doctor changed my due date to October 6. He said that the ultrasound revealed that the date of conception was January 6 (less than the 2 weeks standard). In the USA, this would make my due date now September 29.
So when is my due date? Apparently, in the US it is September 29 and in France it is October 6. Since only 5% of babies are actually born on their due dates, I am not too worried about which date is the “right” one. I will count on October 6, but hope for September 29.
Only my little bun in the oven knows for sure when she will be done baking. Until then, I will be counting down using arbitrary numbers and daydreaming
Summary: Calculating Your Pregnancy Due Date in France
Count two weeks from the first day of your last period and then add 9 months.
For example, pretend that the first day of your last period is January 1. Two weeks from this date is January 15. Add 9 months, so the due date would be October 15.
Image Credit: flequi on Flickr.com
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