How long does a pregnancy last? It is a rather simple question, isn’t it? However, there are certain misconceptions concerning this issue, which we are going to dispel.
Pregnancy in FiguresA pregnancy comprises of the first, the second and the third trimester, 13 or 14 weeks each. You may also come across the so-called fourth trimester, which refers to the first three months with a newborn. How variable is the continuation of a human pregnancy? The fact is that the length of a normal and healthy pregnancy can vary from 37 to 42 weeks. So, a baby could arrive in the last five-week period at any time. The number of weeks depends on the way of calculation:
- 38 weeks from time of conception,
- about 40 to 41 weeks from LMP.
Recent HypothesisAccording to the hypothesis suggested by Holly Dunsworth, a scientist from the University of Rhode Island, woman’s metabolism establishes the time when a baby is born. “There is a certain capacity a mother has metabolically, and once that capacity is reached, the baby is born.” Her research questions the common description of human altriciality based on pelvic constraints.
Factors to ConsiderThough the pregnancy term is highly individual, there are some natural aspects and circumstances which affect its continuation. Among the factors that might influence the potential length of a pregnancy is the duration of a previous expecting period. “This last finding suggests that individual women tend to be consistent about when they deliver,” said Dr Nikolina Basic-Jukic of University Hospital Centre Zagreb, explaining her recent study. What is more, age is closely linked to how long the process of carrying a child lasts. Older mothers are more likely to have longer pregnancies. It’s curious, but even height and weight play their roles, tall women tend to carry a child for a longer period of time than short women. The same situation is with European women in comparison with African-Caribbean or Asian women, who tend to have shorter pregnancies on average.
So, natural variability in pregnancy length calculating can be significant and influential depending on individual features.