When you get pregnant your due date is calculated roughly 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. 40 weeks. I once heard a guest lecturer in one of my graduate classes say that most people believed that pregnancy was 9 months long, when in fact it was 10 months long and she backed this up by saying that 40 weeks, with 4 weeks in each month added up to 10 months. At the time my mind was totally blown, but then I started thinking about it and I realized something that should have been blatantly obvious all along: Most months are longer than 4 weeks. There are exactly 4 weeks in the month of February (when it isn’t a leap year) but that’s the only month where that rule applies, for the rest of the months, that leaves 2 or 3 days unaccounted for, which over the course of a pregnancy can really add up.
So what am I getting at? Well, if you want to wait until you’re 3 months pregnant to announce your pregnancy and you announce it when you’re 12 weeks pregnant, then you are announcing just over a week early. During my first pregnancy I was one of those people. I announced I was pregnant at 12 weeks exactly only to find out at 13 weeks that I had miscarried. Had I waiting until I was actually 3 months pregnant I would have known about the miscarriage before making the announcement and I would have been able to avoid a lot of questions and explanations that I didn’t want to deal with at the time.
I can’t tell you how many times I hear women say that they are 5 months pregnant when they go for their 20 week ultrasound, or 7 months pregnant when they are 28 weeks along. This just is not correct. It’s like when someone says: “for all intense and purposes” rather than “for all intents and purposes.” More than anything I just want to educate people about what’s accurate and correct.
My 40 week mark is December 5th. I was exactly 9 months pregnant as of December 1st, which means that by my 40 week mark I will be 9 months and 4 days pregnant…nowhere NEAR 10 months. Just saying.
*As a side note, I think it’s worth mentioning that the average pregnancy actually lasts 41 1/7 weeks, which is why even though my due date is December 5th, I tell everyone I have until December 19th in the hopes that this will help quell all the calls and messages I have been getting from people who are lovingly over eager for the baby to arrive.*