Pregnancy Tests Overview

Figuring the Delivery Date

When you finally know for sure that you are pregnant, your next question will undoubtedly be "When will my baby be born?" Delivery usually occurs 280 days after the first day of the last menstrual period. An easier way to calculate the delivery date, or due date, is to add nine months and seven days to the first day of your last normal menstrual period. Most women don't give birth on the exact date, but 80 percent give birth within ten days of this date -- either ten days before or ten days after.

As your pregnancy progresses, your doctor can double-check your due date with the timing of certain events. For example, the baby's heart is usually heard at 10 to 12 weeks. The level at which the top of the uterus can be palpated (felt) by the doctor is another clue; at 20 to 22 weeks, for example, it is usually at the umbilicus (navel). If your physician performs an ultrasound examination, the technician can measure the baby's head and compare the result with standard tables to estimate gestational age.

Discovering that you are pregnant is a thrilling moment. The next nine months will be filled with excitement both for you and your family.


Dr. Elizabeth Eden, M.D., is a practicing obstetrician with her own private practice in New York City. She serves as an attending physician at the Tisch Hospital of the New York University Medical Center, as well as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the New York University School of Medicine.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

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