How many days after the expected date of delivery can you give birth?

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How many days after the expected date of delivery can you give birth

La estimated date of delivery has arrived but nothing seems to happen? Are you at 40 or 41 weeks and no contractions? It's not that rare: the estimated date of delivery it is only an estimated date that is made in early pregnancy, but it cannot guarantee that the day of the birth will be exactly that. It is normal to give birth before or after the date of delivery, and in some cases the pregnancy can continue for up to two weeks after the expected date. Let's see, then how many days after the expected date of delivery you can give birthand what risks there are.

In this article

  • How to calculate the expected date of delivery
  • Gestational age
  • I am leaving after the deadline
  • How many weeks do you give birth on average?
  • Risks of postterm pregnancy

How to calculate the expected date of delivery

The average duration of pregnancy is 280 days, or 40 weeks, starting from the first day of the last menstrual cycle.

During the first check-up during pregnancy, the gynecologist will use a very simple tool, called the ruler, which is used to calculate in a few minutes what the presumed date of delivery (DPP). This dating can be made even more precise through an ultrasound that will evaluate fetal growth and development. However, it is good to know that the dating of pregnancy will always be done by calculating 40 weeks from the first day of the last menstruation.

Use the MyModernParents calculator for know the expected date of delivery or PLR.

Gestational age

It defines itself gestational age the number of weeks between the first day of the last menstrual cycle and the day of delivery. Since it is not possible to establish with certainty what the day of conception is, it begins to count from the last menstruation, therefore in general 14 days before the date of conception and until the day of delivery. Clearly the gestational age is not the actual age of the fetus, which can be evaluated in ultrasound but is not used to establish the expected date of delivery and is not even used to evaluate the duration of pregnancy, for which it is used. as we have seen, the gestational age.

The duration of pregnancy: classifications

  • Preterm birth: occurs before the 37th week of gestation
  • I leave to finish: occurs between 37 and 41 weeks of pregnancy
  • Post-term delivery: occurs in the 42nd week or later.

I am leaving after the deadline

According to the guidelines it is defined childbirth over the term (or protracted pregnancy) when the birth takes place a 42 weeks or longer. A pregnancy is defined, instead, late, when childbirth occurs at 41 weeks.

Some factors can favor a post-term pregnancy, for example obesity, a previous post-term pregnancy, but also be primiparous.

Read also: Calculate the date of birth with Naegele's rule

How many weeks do you give birth on average?

At how many weeks can you give birth without risk to the baby? L'induction of labor it is considered at the 41-42th week, especially in cases where the cervix is ​​favorable, and is recommended after the 42nd week.

According to studies, on average, birth occurs in the 39th week, but the first children are less likely to be born on time: they can be born late, but even before the 37th week. 

According to the data, about 60 out of 100 women give birth by the estimated delivery date, for another 35 out of 100 women, contractions start on their own within two weeks of DPP, while it takes longer for about 5 out of 100 women. 

Risks of postterm pregnancy

Research shows that when the pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks there may be some risks to the baby such as:

  • Fetal macrosomia: size and weight larger than the average;
  • Caesarean section;
  • postmaturity syndrome, characterized by some symptoms such as less hollow paint, fluff, discoloration of the amniotic fluid and skin;
  • low level of amniotic fluid (oligohydramnios) which can affect the baby's heart rate and compress the umbilical cord during contractions.

During the check-ups at the end of pregnancy, the doctor will check the size, heart rate, position of the baby.

Regular fetal heart rate monitoring and amniotic fluid volume assessment will be performed.

In some cases, induction of labor may be recommended: stimulation of uterine contractions before labor begins spontaneously.


  • Ministry of Health
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Pregnancy and birth: When your baby's due date has passed

  • estimated date of delivery
  • give birth
  • induction of childbirth
  • weeks of pregnancy
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