Lately I have been asked a lot when my due date is. I usually respond with "January". Sometimes I get a strange look followed by, but what day are you due? I don't like to answer this question, due date is just a number...and a guess at that. I hope this baby comes in January, but he or she will come when he or she is good and ready and I am at peace with that
I am particularly bothered by a few things with due dates. The first being non-medically necessary inductions. Doctors go off of a due date when they plan inductions or allow pregnant moms to schedule them. I don't agree with scheduled inductions unless medically necessary, but that is a whole separate topic. If a doctor is off on the due date by a couple weeks (which does happen) and the mother is induced early, she could be delivering a baby who is not yet ready to be out of the womb. Then comes an increased risk for health problems for the baby, and possibly some NICU time.
My other issue with due dates is that women get anxious as their due date approaches and often times frustrated when it passes. This, again can prompt doctors or mothers to induce labor, which is often not the best for mom or baby. I know so many women who get close to their due date and almost seem panicked that the baby isn't there yet. Then you see the women trying all kinds of crazy things (that are sometimes dangerous) to get that baby to come out. I never understood that....a woman's body and her baby almost always know the right time to deliver and none of those crazy things will make the body or the baby ready. I think the anxiety of the mother waiting for her baby to come and the stress of the baby not coming when she is "supposed to" is not healthy for mother or her baby.
Expectation based on a due date can lead to dangerous intervention or disappointment and frustration of the mother. This doesn't apply to all women in all cases, but it seems to be a growing trend.