Royal baby unlikely to arrive on due date, says antenatal expert

By Laura Elston, Press Association Court Reporter

First-time mothers like the Duchess of Sussex are the least likely to give birth on their due dates, an antenatal expert has said.

Meghan’s royal baby is due in late April or early May, but even the duchess is not expecting her new son or daughter to arrive on time.

Meghan told well-wishers in Birkenhead that her baby would come when he or she is ready (Charlotte Graham/Daily Telegraph/PA)

The duchess said during a trip to Birkenhead that her baby would come when he or she was ready.

“End of April, early May. One of my friends was saying she was five weeks early, so you can never really gauge … when it’s ready,” Meghan said.

Val Willcox, antenatal teacher at the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), said the royal baby is likely to either arrive more than three weeks early or be late.

“If you look at the research, the first baby is the baby that is least likely to arrive on its due date,” she said.

“First babies tend to either come before 37 weeks so they’re really early, or they come after the estimated due date.

“Second and subsequent babies tend to come much closer to their estimated due date.

“Meghan might go off early or she might go off late, but since they haven’t said what their estimated due date is, I’m afraid we’re all going to be sat waiting.”

With the duchess in the last few weeks of her pregnancy, Mrs Willcox recommended lots of rest and some exercise, such as swimming or yoga.

The Duchess of Cambridge is thought to have taken advantage of the pool at Buckingham Palace in the final days of her pregnancy with Princess Charlotte.

Meghan is already a yoga fan, and her mother, Doria Ragland, is a yoga instructor.

Meghan with her mother, yoga instructor Doria Ragland, and Harry at Kensington Palace (Ben Stansall/PA)

“Meghan should try to combine good rest with some exercise, and eating and drinking well. She should try to relax as much as possible,” Mrs Willcox said.

“A certain amount of exercise is really good for pregnant women – walking, swimming, even exercise that gets the heart rate up is really good, providing they and their babies are healthy.

Meghan at a gala evening at the Natural History Museum in London in February (Yui Mok/PA)

“Heavily-pregnant women often do really enjoy swimming because you get that weightlessness for a while.

“Yoga is also really good – some gentle stretching for getting used to what your body can do. But, really, whatever Meghan feels like doing.”