Your Pregnancy - - Q & A -

If you re­ally want to pen­cil an ac­tual day for birth into your di­ary, you could use Nae­gle’s For­mula. Sub­tract three months from the first day of your last men­strual pe­riod (LMP), and then add seven days. This for­mula works if you have a 28-day men­strual cy­cle, and know that you ovu­late on the four­teenth day of your cy­cle. So, LMP minus three months plus 7 days equals your due date, for ex­am­ple LMP: 1 Jan­uary 2012 minus three months equals 1 Oc­to­ber. Then add seven days and you have an 8 Oc­to­ber due date. In the end, work­ing out your baby’s ges­ta­tional age will only give you a broad in­di­ca­tion of when your baby will be born. Re­search has shown that labour is trig­gered by your baby’s lungs. As they hit ma­tu­rity your baby’s lungs will trig­ger the re­lease of the hor­mone oxy­tocin, which in turn kick­starts the labour process. How­ever, no one can tell you when that will hap­pen for your in­di­vid­ual baby, and there are no con­clu­sive re­search stud­ies that ex­plain at what point ex­actly in the hor­monal chain of events lungs reach de­vel­op­ment; nei­ther is there a way of test­ing how ma­ture a baby’s lungs are be­fore birth.

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