Pregnancy Wheel Fun with the Doctor
Maybe you’ve seen that pregnancy wheel your doctor whips out during your visits? She moves the different parts around and it gives her a ton of information about your pregnancy and where baby should be developmentally.
How Does a Pregnancy Wheel Work?
The wheel is based on the day of your last menstrual period. There are two circles attached in the middle – the smaller one is in front of the larger so that they can move independently of each other. Around the back wheel, is every day of the year, from January 1 to December 31. On the front wheel, weeks one through forty are spread out so that each week spreads across seven days. You line up the date of your last period on the back wheel with the marker designating that on the front wheel.
If you conceived through infertility treatment, there are even more specialized wheels that will also date the pregnancy according to the date of your egg retrieval or embryo transfer (for conception through IVF) or based on the date you took your final hcg (brand names: Ovidrel, Novarel, or Pregnyl) injection. Because the medications you are taking can alter the length of your menstrual cycle, it may make dating based on the last menstrual period inaccurate.
What Will the Wheel Tell Me?
Each pregnancy wheel is different. However, the wheel will tell you how far along you are, when your due date is and how big your baby should measure. Some wheels will tell you baby’s average weight, when certain screening tests should be performed and when the baby will reach full term. You can use the wheel to figure out the dates of the first, second or third trimesters. You can also use it to figure out how far along you will be at specific dates, say a family wedding, so you can plan ahead.
Some people even use the wheel to plan when they want to get pregnant. Let’s say, for example, that you want a baby due in the spring-time. Using the wheel, you’ll see that baby should be conceived in July to be due in April. You can count ahead to figure out when your period will be that month and plan to start trying then. Some people are even more specific, wanting a baby who is a specific astrological sign. Keep in mind that using the wheel in this manner doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get pregnant the first month that you start trying. �But the wheel can be an effective guide to help you plan your pregnancy.
Where Can I Get a Pregnancy Wheel?
You can buy a pregnancy wheel online from retailers like Amazon.com. There are also tons of websites that offer free, interactive wheels or pregnancy due date calculators. Check out this site, http://www.i-am-pregnant.com/encyclopedia/Pregnancy/Pregnancy-Wheel, that gives you a free printable wheel that you assemble yourself.
There are also tons of iPhone apps that are mock pregnancy wheels. Check this one out, http://www.iphonepregnancywheel.com/; it gives you a pregnancy wheel that is almost identical to the paper one that OB’s use.
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