The age of your baby and your due date is estimated to be 40 weeks from the day you started your last period. An early exam of your uterus and an early positive pregnancy test can help determine your baby’s age and due date.
Ultrasound can be used to confirm your baby’s age. An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures of your baby. Your baby can be measured with ultrasound as early as 5 or 6 weeks after your last menstrual period. This method is most accurate during the first half of pregnancy.
Why is it important to know the gestational age?
There are many reasons why itâ€™s important to know your due date and how far along your pregnancy is. Some reasons are:
At specific weeks of pregnancy, certain things are expected–for example, hearing the babyâ€™s heartbeat for the first time (with a stethoscope) and feeling your baby move for the first time. If these things happen when expected, they can be a sign that your baby is doing well.
Checking the growth of your baby can be done accurately only if your babyâ€™s age is correctly known.
Some tests should be done at certain times in the pregnancy.
Itâ€™s very important to know your baby’s age if there are complications with the pregnancy and your baby needs to be delivered early.
Itâ€™s important to know when your baby is overdue so the health of the baby can be watched more closely.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2014-02-07 Last reviewed: 2014-02-05
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Estimating Gestational Age: References
Gibbs, R. B. Karlan, A. Haney, I. Nygaard. Danforthâ€™s Obstetrics and Gynecology. 9th ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2008. Accessed on December 29, 2011, from http://www.ovidsp.tx.ovid.com.
Cunningham, F., K. Leveno, S. Bloom, J. Hauth, L. Gilstrap, K. Wenstrom. Williams Obstetrics. 22nd ed. The Mcgraw Hill Companies, Inc. 2008. Accessed September 23, 2009 from http://www.accessmedicine.com.
Lockwood, C. Guidelines for Perinatal Care. 7th ed. AAP and ACOG. 2012.