A pregnancy calendar is a calendar which can be used to track the course of a pregnancy. Many companies make calendars which women can use to chart developmental milestones and expected physical changes which accompany fetal development, and people can also access pregnancy calendars online, using products which vary from generic calendars to products which can be embedded on a personal website to allow readers to follow the pregnancy. Such products can be useful for bloggers who want to keep people apprised of basic information about the pregnancy.
When women go to a doctor to diagnose a pregnancy, the doctor usually comes up with an estimated due date which is calculated on the basis of the woman's last menstrual period. With this information in hand, a woman can start to make plans for the baby's arrival, and she can use a pregnancy calendar to follow the course of a pregnancy, referencing major milestones in fetal development, finding out how large the fetus should be at any given time, and learning about physical changes which occur over the course of a pregnancy.
It is important to be aware that the due date provided by a doctor is an approximation, not a proclamation. The actual date of delivery may occur before or after the due date, depending on the woman, when the pregnancy occurred, and the level of fetal development. Due dates are usually calculated as 40 weeks after the woman's last period, and pregnancy calendars may go up to 42 weeks, reflecting the fact that delivery can occur between 38 and 42 weeks after the last menstrual period.
Women can also use a pregnancy calendar to create a record of a pregnancy. If the pregnancy is being closely monitored, a doctor may appreciate a careful log of events from the expecting mother, as this log can be used to check for signs of complications and issues. Women may also enjoy reflecting on a pregnancy calendar after birth, sharing the calendar with the child when he or she grows up, or using a previous pregnancy calendar as a reference which can provide clues about what to expect from a pregnancy.
Most pregnancy calendars go week by week. Women can fill in the dates on the calendar themselves, or use software to generate a pregnancy calendar which will automatically generate month and day information once the estimated due date has been input. The calendar can include illustrations and photographs of fetal development, reminders about medical checkups and prenatal care, and other information which could be useful during the course of the pregnancy.