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Only 5 percent of babies are born on their actual due date, so a date cannot be taken as a precise prediction but rather as an estimate of a range. By adhering too closely to a precise date, too many babies may be induced leading to a much higher rate of Cesarean birth. Whenever there is any doubt about the dates, a dating ultrasound may be performed. These conditions giving rise to doubt include: Dating scans can also yield other important information such as the location of the pregnancy as in regards to placental issues, the number of fetuses and/or sacs, the size of the fetus, detecting the heartbeat, and if any unusual features are found in the uterus such as fibroids. You can keep a basal temperature chart, watch cervical mucus and take an ovulation test to help determine this.
Knowing the true due date is crucial in many obstetrical decisions, from whether or not a baby is post-due and needs labor needs to be induced, or if steroids will need required for baby to speed lung maturation.
Your uterus will expand as your pregnancy progresses – the height of your uterus (sometimes referred to as the fundal height), corresponds to your pregnancy gestation (how many weeks pregnant you are).
The error margins are not much greater than those scans carried out in the second trimester.
It will also help physicians to know if a fetus is growing as it should.
This new guideline was actually the first time ACOG has issued a statement on the topic of how to accurately date a pregnancy.