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Pregnant or trying to conceive? Then you need a pregnancy wheel.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to spin around in circles, and it doesn’t have anything to do with Wheel of Fortune. A pregnancy wheel is a small tool often found in a hospital or doctor’s office, and it’s beneficial.
All of those questions about your due date, when you can find out the sex of your baby and when your due date would be if you get pregnant this month can be answered by using this simple cardboard or plastic device. In the exciting time of conception and early gestation, the pregnancy wheel is a guide that gives you a lot of relevant information. But, what exactly is this tool? How does it work?
What is a Pregnancy Wheel?
A pregnancy wheel is a tool used by obstetricians and gynecologists to determine the due date of a baby. If you’ve already been to the doctor’s office regarding pregnancy, you may have seen a circular piece of cardboard or thin plastic sitting on your doctor’s desk. These circular tools are made of two pieces of thick paper with a metal fixture in the center, allowing one wheel to turn on top of the other. To use a pregnancy wheel, the woman needs to know the first day of her last period or the date of conception.
Pregnancy wheels are also for more than determining a due date. They provide additional information about the pregnancy, fertility, baby size and when individual tests can be performed as well. The details of what you can learn from the pregnancy wheel are discussed in the sections below.
Although pregnancy wheels were initially created as a tool for OBGYNs, they are not particularly challenging to use. If you are able to get your hands on one, you’ll find it very helpful throughout your pregnancy or as you’re trying to conceive.
How to Use a Pregnancy Due Date Wheel
The pregnancy due date wheel is simple to operate. All you have to do is move the inner wheel to the correct spot and the due date, and other information will become clear.
The outer wheel is a year-long calendar. Each month and day of the year is marked along the outside of the circle. The inner wheel contains more information. On the outer-most portion of the inner circle, you’ll see the weeks of pregnancy marked. The date of the start of your last period, the conception date and the likely due date are all labeled according to the weeks of pregnancy.
There is other information on this small circle that will be explained in the next section. However, to make the wheel work, all you need to know is where the days of the year and weeks of pregnancy are located.
To use the pregnancy wheel, move the arrow that says “first day of last period” (or similar) to the correct date by turning the inner wheel. When you’re done, you can hold it steady and notice where the due date arrow now lies. That’s it!
Do keep in mind that due dates are flexible. So, even if the pregnancy due date wheel lists a specific date, it doesn’t mean that your baby is guaranteed to be born on that day. In fact, only about 4% of babies are born on their due date.
Information Provided on the Pregnancy Calculator Wheel
There are many different pregnancy wheels available that provide various details about essential dates during pregnancy and a woman’s fertility cycle. However, the majority of wheels contain the same necessary information. Here are some standard information you can find on the inner circle of a pregnancy calculator wheel:
- Fertility After you’ve located the date of the first day of your most recent period, notice the conception date. This helps you determine the most fertile days of your cycle. The conception date isn’t exact, but it’s typically about 2 weeks after you begin your period, and it usually coincides with ovulation. A few days before and after ovulation is when you’re most fertile. So, if you’re trying to conceive, you can use the calculator wheel as an easy way to know when your most fertile dates will be.
- Screenings You can opt to have screenings done so that you can be aware of any chromosomal abnormalities, infections and the sex of your growing baby. Different kinds of screenings can be done at various stages of the pregnancy such as CVS and Amniocentesis. You can plan these screenings more efficiently by seeing which dates they’ll fall on using the pregnancy wheel.
- Size of Baby The weight and length of your growing fetus are also listed on the pregnancy wheel. Of course, this is only an estimate, as all babies vary slightly in size. However, it gives you a basic idea of how big your baby is throughout your pregnancy.
Where Can I Find a Pregnancy Wheel Online?
There are many pregnancy wheel apps and pregnancy due-date calculators available online. It’s straightforward to track your pregnancy, the size of your baby, and the changes happening in your and your baby’s body through a variety of baby and pregnancy apps and websites.
You can use this online pregnancy wheel that allows you to move the inner circle with your cursor. Most other online due date calculators list pregnancy milestones and information rather than providing you exact dates or allowing you to quickly view the pregnancy as a whole. Nevertheless, there are many pregnancy wheel apps available for both androids and iPhones. Check out the Google Play and the Apple App stores for more details.
A New Pregnancy Wheel
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists has created a new app to replace the pregnancy wheel. This new app includes calculations that allow doctors to combine information from ultrasounds with the first day of the last period date to create a more accurate assessment of the pregnancy. Also, the app allows doctors to determine the due date in patients who use assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF.
However, for most patients, the pregnancy wheel is still helpful and accurate. You may even want to use it in addition to an app, as it gives an excellent overview of the pregnancy. With the pregnancy wheel, you can easily see what part of the year you’ll experience each stage of gestation.
Have you used a pregnancy wheel before? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.
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