‘When to Expect’ Claims It Can Predict Your Actual Due Date -- But How Accurate Is It?

due dateOkay, you have your due date. But we all know it's just an estimate. You could be two weeks early, you could be two weeks late. Hell, you could be a whole month early! You never really know when to expect your baby -- only that your pregnancy will not last as long as a rhinoceros' (15 to 16 months). But deep down, don't you kind of wish you knew for sure?

A new website, WhenToExpect.com, claims it can tell you how close to your due date you'll actually deliver. Really! Oh -- you're skeptical? Yeah, well, so am I. But you know what? If I were pregnant, I'd be trying it out anyway.


So here's how this thing works: They've analyzed U.S. Census data on live births for the years 2009 and 2010. Then they calculated predicted birth dates "based on certain characteristics." You just enter some information about your pregnancy: Gender, how many, your age, education, racial/ethnic group, and your history with diabetes and/or hypertension. Plug in the info, and they'll give you their prediction.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to pretend it's January 2004 and I'm expecting my little boy. I entered all my info just to see how close it would come to reality. And???

Hmm, they seemed to think I would deliver a week earlier than I actually did. (I gave birth three days after my due date.) They also put my chances of a c-section at 35 percent. Yikes! I didn't even come close to having a c-section, and I'm not sure why my chances were so high since I have no history of diabetes or hypertension.

They also estimated my son's weight, which ... OMG, would you believe it? I can't remember my son's exact birth weight. It was 7 pounds something ounces. They estimated 7 pounds 14 ounces, which is probably pretty close.

So I'm not sure what to think. I guess my son's birth wasn't quite as typical as I'd always thought. Obviously there are far more factors that go into your actual delivery date than what you see here -- and they do tell you as much. I'm curious now to see how other people's births will measure up to this, though.

Is WhenToExpect.com the kind of thing you'd try out of curiosity? How close do you think it'll be?


Image via Scott Woods-Fehr/Flickr

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