Due Date Calculator: Wonder what Women Used in the Past?

Has your mind ever wondered how women in the past predicted when they’re going to pop that bun out of the oven without a due date calculator?

I can hear your mind going, “Huh. Didn’t think of that.”

It’s certainly piqued my curiosity because there has to be some way (although probably inaccurate) women have counted the months in the past.

As a matter of fact, many civilizations in the past have failed to confirm pregnancy up until their baby bump starts to show.

Primitive Pregnancy Test

due date calculator

In the past, women have been confirmed to be carrying in several very historical ways. In 1350 BCE, Egyptians confirm pregnancy by having suspected pregnant women urinate on wheat and barley seeds over the course of several days. If they sprout, then the woman is pregnant.

The Egyptian civilization was one of the first to have a so-called method for distinguishing the gender of the baby even before it was born.

It was also through the barley and wheat test. If the wheat sprouted, it would be a girl and then a boy if the barley sprouted. It was a couple thousand years later that the ancient Egyptian method of confirming pregnancy was proven to work.

They didn’t have a close to accurate pregnancy test kit like we do now let alone a due date calculator.

Let’s take a look at how our ancestors counted them.

Lunar Method

due date calculator
National Geographic

It has been established that in the medieval times, a woman is suspected to be with child if she was sexually active and have missed her regular dates of bleeding. They approximated that the baby is due to come out after missing the tenth month of menstrual period.

They didn’t have calendars before so they used the moon’s phases to count the months that go by. Our ancestors have already figured out how to use the moon to predict planting seasons and plan religious events. And then based on their observations of the moon and its phase, they’ve concluded due dates on the tenth time they see the same phase from when they suspect the pregnancy which is also what they call ‘Ten Moons.’

The lunar method of a due date calculator is pretty much accurate.

  • There are 28 days in a bleeding cycle on the average.
  • There are also 28 days for the moon to complete its phasing cycle.
  • Women usually bleed during the full moon.
  • 280 days is the average number of days of a full term pregnancy which is also the same number of days for ten moon phases, which is also exactly 40 weeks.

And although not entirely accurate, women who live in countries that have for seasons also used these weather changes to estimate. For instance, if a woman thinks she has conceived during the winter, she would expect to give birth sometime in the fall.

Naegele’s Rule

due date calculator

Later in time, roughly about the early 1800’s, a German obstetrician named Franz Naegele invented the Naegele’s Rule. This became the standard due date calculator and it follows a simple formula.

The formula identifies the estimated delivery date from the first day of the woman’s LMP (last menstrual period) by adding 1 year, deducting 3 months and adding another 7 days. The result will be approximately 40 weeks or 280 days which confirms the ‘ten moons’ of the olden days.

Our Very Own Due Date Calculator

due date calculator

But if you’re as bad at math as I am, we have our very own due date calculator here. It will tell you your EDD (estimated due date), suggest the best date for ultrasounds and a lot of other helpful information that you might need.

Simply put in your last menstrual period and press calculate. It will calculate and generate your EDD for you.

Aren’t you glad women do not have to resort to primitive methods to calculate their due date?

Of course, this is not 100% accurate.

Certain factors during your pregnancy can affect when your bun will be ready to pop out of the oven. God forbid, you give birth prematurely because of the health risk it possesses, but a due date calculator will help you plan your doctor visits ahead and your course of action during your pregnancy journey. Excited yet? :)

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Fueled by fun and the simple things in life, I am a full-time writer, a baker on some days when I actually have spare time and a back-up vocalist on the weekends. Coffee and I don't work well together but give me a glass of milk tea or really rich cocoa and we'll be friends for life.

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