This may not seem like it’s a choice that the mother can make, but it is, and the right choice is always to wait. Due dates have proven to be notoriously inaccurate, and according to Dr. Vern Katz, et al., they should be eliminated entirely.
Dr. Katz and her colleagues from the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon, reported that the calculations used to set a woman’s “due date” based upon her menstrual periods is “flawed”. The use of an estimated gestational period to determine the best care for the patient is causing confusion and the patient does not treat this date as an estimate. She, and her entire family, considers that date a very specific point in time that they are looking forward to quite anxiously.
As the “due date” approaches, if there have been no signs of labor, the mother begins to grow anxious and distressed. This typically leads to a recommendation by her OB/GYN to induce delivery, usually leading to further interventions in birth. The problem with this is that intervention in the delivery process frequently leads to trauma for both the mother and the baby.
Dr. Katz and her colleagues conclude that doctors should expand the concept of a due date to a “due week” and, in this way, “allow biology [or nature] to take it’s a course a bit more”.