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when's the baby due?

Updated: Thursday, May 20,2010, 10:35:59 AM
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If you've just found out you're pregnant, one of your next questions is "when's the baby due?"

Due Date Calculator It's hard to predict exactly, but our calculator can give you an idea.

Keep in mind, however, that only five percent of women deliver their babies on their projected due date, according to the National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC). So this date should be used as an estimate; it is not an exact calculation. In addition, the calculator may not provide an accurate reading if you have irregular ovulation or menstrual periods. Always consult your doctor to determine your correct due date.

Remember too that as soon as you think you might be pregnant, it's important to seek professional healthcare.  In fact, the National Institutes of Health say the best time to start planning for a healthy pregnancy is before you actually get pregnant. This gives you a chance to get your own health in the best shape possible. If you are overweight, lose weight before getting pregnant. If you smoke, quit. The March of Dimes also urges all women who are trying to get pregnant or know they are pregnant to take folic acid supplements, of at least 400 micrograms daily. Folic acid has been shown to be important in the development of the fetus and helps protect against birth defects such as spina bifida or other neural tube defects.
It also gives you a head start on planning for your baby. And there are many things to plan. Some of the things to consider, according to NWHIC:

    * Setting up a schedule for tests and check-ups you'll be following throughout your pregnancy
    * Getting information to help you decide about delivery options.
    * Getting information to help you decide about breastfeeding.
    * Choosing a healthcare provider for your child; you may even want to interview potential pediatricians.
    * Getting information from your health insurance company to make sure you'll be able to get the kind of care you want.
    * Finding out about programs to help you care for your baby, if you can't afford health insurance.
    * Learning about nutrition during pregnancy.
    * Getting baby furniture and clothing; making sure that everything is safe with no loose ends, sharp edges or small harmful parts.

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