Unless you’ve been living on a deserted island for the last few months, I’m sure you’re well aware that there will soon be another “royal” baby in the UK. After another severe bout with hyperemesis gravidarum, Kate Middleton began making regular public appearances again and appearing in tabloids and internet blog posts the world over sporting a beautiful baby bump and her signature glowing smile. Most recently, sources reported that she shared her spring due date. Princess Kate was quoted as saying:
“I’m due mid-April, to the end of April. Not long to go now.”
To this I say, GOOD FOR YOU, Kate! In our culture, the notorious “When are you due?” is in the top three questions for anyone who is pregnant, along with “Boy or girl” and “Is this your first baby?” The problem is, pregnant bodies don’t come with deadlines or expiration dates (trust me, I searched high and wide for them during each of my three pregnancies). Each pregnancy, including the length of said pregnancy, is unique. And while, yes, we have come up with a general average (40-42 weeks), there is no scientific method for determining when your baby will decide to be born! And yet. Yet care providers give us a due DATE. A single day upon which many family members, friends, spouses and partners, and especially very pregnant women hinge on when nearing the end of the third trimester.
One of the tricks, which Kate clearly has learned, to avoiding the barrage of questions, harassment, and impatience from others, is to never share an actual due date, but rather a time frame. In my third pregnancy (third time’s a charm!), I told everyone that I was due sometime in August. No dates, just a month. Not only did it cut down on the inquiries from others, but it reframed my own thinking to know that I could give birth sometime — anytime!– in August.
When I counsel pregnant families as a doula and childbirth educator, I encourage moms to toss aside their due date, and instead focus on what they will do around the time they are due. I have a nifty little “Celebration Menu” for them to keep and fill out, but you can check out this article to help you plan your due date celebrations.