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March 10, 2015

When will a First-Time Mom Meet her Baby?

28weekspreg

I am 28 weeks pregnant and starting to wonder when we’ll meet our little boy.

Hopefully, we’ve got at least 10 more weeks to prepare. If he comes too early, it could be an issue, as I’ve learned that my baby shower is only 23 days before my due date. But he can’t be too late either, because my brother-in-law is getting married 12 days after my due date and my husband is leading a school trip to London 21 days after my due date.

Thinking about all of this made me curious about when first time mothers typically have their babies. I’ve often heard that first babies are born after the due date, but didn’t know if there was much evidence to back that up. I googled and found some interesting stats, but wasn’t completely satisfied, so I turned to social media to ask my burning question:

How many weeks pregnant were you when you gave birth to your first baby?

Here are the results.

Number of participants: 150

36th week: 5 (3.3%)

37th week: 11 (7.3%)

38th week: 18 (12%)

39th week: 31 (20.6%)

40th week: 53 (35.3%)

41st week: 22 (14.6%)

42nd week: 10 (6.6%)

 

*21 women who gave birth in their 40th week of pregnancy had their baby on the due date (14%).

*Nine mothers reported being induced (6%).

*Survey did not include twins.

 

Of course, my study has flaws.

It’s small. Mothers may have been more likely to chime in that their baby was born on their due date because that’s usually kind of rare and exciting. I also don’t know exactly how many women were induced (some offered up that information but I’m sure some didn’t). I don’t know the ethnicities, ages or habits of most of these women, and it’s possible that these details could be contributing factors for determining when labor will most often begin. Also, due date accuracy was likely incorrect in some cases. It would be nice to hear only from women who previously had regular periods and knew exactly when their last period started.

I think the lesson learned here is that babies come when they’re ready—some early, some late, some right on time. It doesn’t matter what my plans are around my due date, or for the next 18 years for that matter. A child is the ultimate game-changer, the being that turns life upside down.

The best thing I can do is roll with it.

And maybe pack my hospital bag at 35 weeks.

 

Author: Megan Morris

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Author’s Own 

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