Your baby this week
32 weeks pregnant

A guideline, not a deadline

It would be nice if you could count on your due date, officially known as your estimated due date or EDD (note the emphasis on estimated!). But the fact is, predicting your baby's birthday is an imperfect science, at best. According to British childbirth expert Sheila Kitzinger, only 5 percent of babies arrive on their due dates; and of the 95 percent who don't arrive on time, seven out of 10 are overdue.

Due date?

Dr Jay Jackson, a board-certified obstetrician in Maryland, makes this suggestion: "Think of your EDD as the very center of the ring in a bull's eye that includes a circle of days, two weeks plus and two weeks minus the official 280th day of pregnancy. All the dates in this center ring are really a month of equally fine due days."

This means, really, that what you have is a due month. Not comforting, we know – but, truly, it's good to keep your "due date" expectations as realistic as possible.

In the know

Pre-pregnancy, the cervix is about as hard as the end of your nose -- but by the end of pregnancy, it is as soft as your lip. As birth draws closer, the cervix will soften and open, and you will start to lose your mucous plug.

In real life

Pregnant woman

One mom-to-be, Lori, wrote of traveling at 32 weeks:

"In my case, my doctor approved the travel, but wasn't too thrilled about it and let me know that this was absolutely the last trip I could take until after the baby was born, with the exception of short car trips lasting no more than a couple of hours in duration, maximum. I also got hassled at the airport on my way back Sunday morning. Although I was allowed to pre-board Saturday night's flight, I don't think the crew at that particular airport was really paying enough attention to really see how far along I am in my pregnancy... or if they did, they weren't really all that concerned.

"At the airport in Kentucky, however, I had to sign a form stating that I was -- ahem -- only 7 months along (so I fudged a bit because I knew they might not let me on the plane otherwise without a doctor's note, which I didn't have because I forgot to ask for one at my appointment) and that if I went into labor on the plane and something happened I wouldn't sue the airline."

Read more about traveling while you're pregnant:

Nursery checklist

Nursery checklist

There are so many things to keep in mind when planning your baby's bedroom. We have an interactive checklist that offers you a personalized solution! Simply check the items you would like to have on your nursery to-do checklist, add any special notes you like, then create your list.

Click here to create your nursery checklist!

Noted & quoted

"When they are a few months old, they lie and look around and wave and smile and undergo a constant gentle agitation, as though they were sea anemones, gently waving in some other element, delicately responding to currents we cannot feel." - Margaret Drabble

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