Common sense often makes us count the pregnancy for months, but when a woman becomes pregnant and has her first conversations with her doctor, she finds that the count in weeks is much more accurate.
This is because the changes occur in a baby that is forming very quickly, which means that the count in weeks can account for indicating these changes, which would not make much sense with the count in months.
But how do I know how many weeks pregnant I am? There is a simple and very efficient method. Today we are going to talk about how to count the pregnancy by DUM . But first, do you know what this acronym means?
What is DUM?
This is the abbreviation for the phrase “Last Menstruation Date”. Is nothing more than the date of the first day of the last menstrual period of a woman, as the name implies. It is important to know exactly the first day to know how to count the pregnancy by DUM, since it is from there that the gestational calculation is made.
If a woman is trying to conceive, it is advisable that she write down the dates of her menstruation somewhere, as she will always be asked about her when she has an exam, especially the ultrasound.
If the woman becomes pregnant without having planned it, it is a little more difficult to know exactly that date and therefore, the best thing to do is to always write down the dates of menstruation, even to know if there was any mistake with the contraceptive pill or with any other method.
Calculation of Gestational Age
First of all, it is important to know that a pregnancy usually occurs in a time between 37 and 42 weeks. The average is 268 days, which gives 38 weeks , but it is common for some to happen a little before or a little after that.
In order to know how to count the pregnancy by DUM, a woman must know the date of her last menstrual period and, from then on, count the weeks. This is because it is very difficult to know exactly what day the egg was fertilized and, for that reason, it was agreed to count the pregnancy from that date.
The definitive gestational age is adjusted in the first ultrasound examination of pregnancy, which usually occurs between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. From that point, the woman will be able to know exactly what stage her pregnancy is in, but that does not mean that she could not have a good idea before.
How to Calculate the Expected Day of Childbirth?
It is very difficult to calculate the exact day of delivery, but it is possible to make an accurate estimate for the woman to prepare. This is also known as the likely date of delivery . There is no need for a doctor to talk about that date once a woman has learned how to count her pregnancy through LMP.
What you have to do is basically calculate from the date of the first day of your last period and add 7 days and 9 months . If the last menstrual period occurred on February 1, for example, the expected date would be October 7.
But it is clear that there is a margin of error, since it is quite common for the baby to be born a little before or a little after that date. Usually a doctor requests a consultation a week from the 36th week of pregnancy, just in case, as from then on there is already the possibility for the woman to go into labor at any time.
How to Know Gestational Age in Months?
As we mentioned earlier, it is very common for people to ask how many months you are pregnant, as the count in weeks is more used by doctors to better meet the requirements of the baby’s development.
But how do you know the counting of these weeks in months? In fact, this is quite easy to do, just consider that every 4 ½ weeks equals one month . That way, at 9 weeks you will be 2 months pregnant, at 13 weeks, 3 months and so on. Of course, this account serves more to guide people who don’t have much sense of counting for weeks, which is the most accurate and most important of you to know.
What if I don’t know the date of my last menstrual period?
In this case, as we mentioned earlier, you will have to wait for the exams to know exactly your gestational age. However, from the first exams and looks of a professional it is already possible to have a good notion and a woman will hardly be unaware of how many weeks she is pregnant, not least because she herself may not remember the exact date, but she will probably have a notion of time you are pregnant.
Although this facility exists, it is still recommended that the woman always write down the dates of her periods, as nothing is better than the control of the woman herself.
Knowing how to calculate pregnancy is not only about the satisfaction of knowing exactly what stage of growth your baby is in, but also knowing what are the symptoms that your body shows in each period, what is normal or not, what and when it is necessary to seek medical help.
This is one of the most special moments in a woman’s life and knowing how to generate a life within yourself is something that causes a lot of joy. A unique feeling. So don’t just rely on exams to do your gestational calculations, learn how to count your pregnancy through DUM and notice all the changes each week.
See also: How to Count the Weeks of Pregnancy
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.