In any large database, the distribution of the length of pregnancy is skewed because babies are more likely to be born preterm than post-term and at a wider range of gestations into the early preterm period. Thus neither the mean nor median, but the modal value is used to denote the typical length of pregnancy.
Starting from the time of conception, this typical length of gestation and the fetal age at the end of pregnancy is 266 days or 38 weeks (= conceptual age). In most (but by no means all) cases conception occurs in mid-cycle and thus 2 weeks are added to denote menstrual age. By convention, gestational age is also expressed in this manner: the formulae used for dating pregnancies by ultrasound, to determine the length of pregnancy at any point and the expected date of delivery (EDD), also add a standard 2 weeks to derive 'gestational age'. The typical length of pregnancy is 280 days or 40.0 weeks; term is conventionally denoted as 37-42 weeks, preterm as <37.0 weeks and post-term >42.0 weeks. However, these cut-offs may be varied for the purpose of looking at specific issues. For example, prematurity <34 weeks denotes babies that are more likely to require some form of special care; and limits of >290 days or even >287 days (41.0 weeks) have been used to study the effects of post-term pregnancy.
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Once your pregnancy is over and done with, your baby is happily in your arms, and youre headed back home from the hospital, youll begin to realize that things have only just begun. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, youre going to increasingly notice that your entire life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine.