The Problem with Due Dates, with Gail Hart

If you’re pregnant, you may be sick of the question “When are you due?,” especially since the methods for calculating that date aren’t based on any current evidence. Only about 5% of babies are born on their due date, so why do we obsess? Gail Hart and her dogs tell us more.


Listen directly through our website player, or however you usually listen to podcasts.


What we talked about:

  • Semantics: your baby doesn’t have a “due date” like a library book.
  • Why it’s really a due month
  • Where did the 40 week idea come from?
  • How modern lights are affecting the whole thing
  • What runs in your family?
  • What does your body say?
  • Letting your baby ‘cook’ until ready.
  • Cesareans, inductions and prematurity
  • “The aging placenta”
  • The reassurance of kick-counting
  • Putting into perspective the risk of going past 42 or 43 weeks
  • Is there a better way to determine your due date?
  • Bonus: there’s a cost-analysis out there of Cesareans for all moms!


More on estimated date of delivery, including the resources mentioned on the show:


Related Birthful episodes:


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Gail Hart

Courtesy of Gail Hart. Photo by Philip Perkov.

About Gail Hart

Gail Hart graduated from a midwifery training program as a certified practical midwife in 1977. She has held a variety of certifications over the years; she was a certified midwife through the Oregon Midwifery Council and an LDEM in the state of Oregon. She is now semi-retired and no longer maintains her license, but keeps active with a small community practice. Gail is strongly interested in ways to holistically incorporate evidence-based medical knowledge with traditional midwifery understanding.

She has been a frequent speaker at midwifery conferences and workshops in the United States and Internationally pretty much all around the globe including Fiji, Copenhagen, France, Australia and many other places. Gail has been gradually retiring from active practice to devote more time to teaching, and is creating Midwife Updates Enrichment Seminars  and Online Classes to bring the newest information to midwives. She is currently an instructor for the Indie Birth Wise Woman Circle, the new Indie Birth Midwifery School, the Ancient Art Midwifery Institute and around the globe for various other midwifery groups.

Her book Research Updates for Midwives can be found here.

You can contact Gail on Facebook. Follow where she’s going to be presenting next through the website (Don’t miss the ‘Notes and Handouts‘ pages!)




Title music:Vibe Aceby Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Sponsorship music:Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

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