If you are trying to get pregnant, or have just recently been blessed with a positive pregnancy test, you are probably wondering how a doctor of obstetrics in Oregon City determines the baby's due date. First, let's discuss the difference between an obstetrician and a gynecologist, even though most doctors handle both fields of medicine regarding women's reproductive health. An obstetrician is a direct Latin translation for someone who stands by during pregnancy and childbirth. An obstetrician's focus is on the mother's reproductive health as well as the baby's overall health while in the womb. A gynecologist's focus is on the health of the reproductive organs.
To ensure your health and the health of your baby, it is important that you schedule frequent checkups throughout your pregnancy, which are typically scheduled differently during each trimester. The first trimester ends at about 12 weeks. The second trimester is from about 12 to 24 weeks. The third trimester begins at week 24 and runs through the birth of the baby. Perfect pregnancies, although rare, often have a fairly easy care plan schedule of monthly obstetrician visits up to week 24, appointments every two weeks between weeks 24 and 36, then weekly appointments after week 36 until the baby is born.
A full term pregnancy is considered to be any time between weeks 38 and 42 of a pregnancy. The first date of the last menstrual cycle is normally used to determine the due date of the baby. If you know beyond doubt when your baby was conceived, it generally cannot be used to make a determination for an exact due date. The reason for this is because it can take several days for sperm to fertilize the egg. For most women who have normal menstrual cycles of 28 days, an estimate given by using the first day of the last menstrual cycle is fairly accurate.
With a positive pregnancy test and a determination of a due date, you will be scheduled for an appointment for a complete checkup at a place like Women's Healthcare Associates LLC which will help to establish a baseline for future appointments during the pregnancy. Of course, it is during the first appointment that you will be screened for various other health issues that could affect your pregnancy and your baby. The appointment schedule or care plan that you will be given will largely depend on your health condition and your age.
An obstetrician can get a better idea of the exact due date of the baby is through an ultrasound. Typically, the first ultrasound will be scheduled towards the end of the first trimester, which is about 12 weeks of pregnancy. If the measurements of the baby are quite different from what is expected according to the due date that had been determined by the calendar method, the obstetrician may give a different due date.
Of course, since there is no fail-safe method of determining the exact due date, an obstetrician will check the baby's growth during each appointment starting at about 20 weeks of pregnancy. This is done by using a measuring tape to measure the fundal height. The fundal height is the measurement between the top of the uterus and the top of the pelvic bone.
If there is a major difference between all the methods of determining the due date of your baby, you may be asked to have another ultrasound about one month prior to the baby's due date. This is when an ultrasound is the most challenging for any expectant mother. You will be expected to have a full bladder for the best results of the ultrasound, yet that can be rather uncomfortable if your baby is pressing down on your bladder. Over all, even if the exact due date is determined, your little bundle of joy may want to come out and meet you several days or even several weeks early.