April Fool Yourself About Your Due Date

Due dates are double edged swords. Many women calculate or are given a due date early in pregnancy, which on one hand, is so exciting! It's like being invited to a party where you are the star! Except, this party could happen at any time, with very little notice. In fact, only about 5% of babies arrive on their due date. Yet, once a woman knows that magical date, she circles it on her calendar, shares it with everyone she knows (and those she doesn't know, like in line at the grocery store), and hangs on to the date like it's carved in stone. A due date lures you into thinking that you know when your baby will come, even though it's only an estimate. And at the end of a long pregnancy, a due date feels like a reprieve from weeks of anticipation, an aching back, a shrinking bladder, and a growing inability to sleep through the night. But it doesn't have to be this way! There are small steps you can take to think less about your due date and "fool" yourself into believing there really is no magical day, but rather a set of dates on which you could have your baby. 

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Don't circle the calendar. Don't add it into your calendar app. Don't set an appointment on Outlook. Just don't. I can't tell you how many women do this (myself included for my first two pregnancies). It seems like an innocent action, but I assure you that the more you think of a due "month" and less of a due "date," the easier it will be near the end of your pregnancy.

Don't give specifics. When people -- even your closest family members -- ask your due date, tell them "sometime in late May" or "I'm due in September" or "the baby will definitely be here by June" (in the case where baby's due date is early May, for example). The more you give this answer to others, the more you'll begin to believe it for yourself. Plus, this will really help cut down on the calls, texts, emails, and questions -- and pressure from others -- as you creep closer to your due date. 

Repeat your non-due date mantra. "My baby will come when she is ready." "My baby knows when to be born." "My pregnancy will not last forever." All of these can help take the edge off as you near -- and quite possibly go past -- the date. Say them out loud, in your head, or print them out and place them where you can read them throughout the day.  

Plan something else for your due date. If you really want to make sure you're celebrating something on your due date, plan a party (a tentative party, of course) or a date or a [local] trip. 


Readers: We want to know, what were some of the ways you took your mind off of your due date?


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