A better due date

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Expectant mothers may soon have better information about their due dates thanks to recommendations issued last month by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

The organizations hope that the standardization of the practice of determining due dates will lead to better prenatal care, prevent preterm births and reduce other types of complications.

The new recommendations state that a high-quality ultrasound measurement of the embryo or fetus in the first trimester is the most accurate method to establish or confirm gestational age.

The organizations also say as soon as data from the last menstrual period, the first accurate ultrasound examination, or both are obtained, the gestational age and the estimated due date should be determined, discussed with the patient, and documented clearly in the medical record.

The new policy also states that for the purposes of research and surveillance, the best obstetric estimate, rather than estimates based on the last menstrual period alone, should be used as the measure for gestational age.

For more information, go to http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Method-for-Estimating-Due-Date