1st week of pregnancy for the mother and child – 1st month of pregnancy
The fertilization took place: you are pregnant.
From a personal point of view, nothing special happens with regards to your health. In a little while, after a delay in your menstrual cycle, you will make analyzes that confirm that you are inciting. Just be patient…
The duration of pregnancy is calculated in weeks, starting from the first day of the last menstruation. To be precise, those that in Italy are called ” weeks of pregnancy ” – or gestation – are actually the “weeks of amenorrhea” (ie the weeks of “absence of menstruation”).
It is often very complicated to define the date of the beginning of a pregnancy, because menstrual cycles can be different from one woman to another. If we consider that, on average, the menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, fertilization will take place around the 14th day, that is, in the middle of the cycle, when the fertile period begins .
This is why the “weeks after fertilization” are calculated starting from the 14th day after the first day of the last menstruation.
In any case, to avoid any kind of confusion, the exact dating of your pregnancy will be specified later, thanks to specific analyzes.
The development of the child
Fertilization (encounter between the spermatozoon and the egg) occurs in the uterine tube (or Fallopian tube). Afterwards, the fertilized egg slowly moves towards the uterus, thanks to the contractions and vibrating cilia present in the uterine tube. It is towards the end of this last week that the fertilized egg reaches the uterine wall to nest.
At the beginning, two cells meet: an egg and a spermatozoon. Their genetic codes, contained in the DNA, merge, forming a single cell. Later, this cell will develop and soon the process of cell division will begin in which 2, 4, 8, 64,…cells will be formed.
Tobacco and alcohol
You don’t know you are pregnant yet. If you haven’t done it yet, it’s time to take two good habits: stop smoking and drinking alcohol!
Tobacco: an opportunity to quit smoking
It is never too late to do so, even if you are already pregnant. If your addiction is strong, the support of a tobacco detox specialist might be necessary. You could try to contact a specialized center in tabaccology, there are many in Italy!
If you are pregnant, you can use replacement products such as patches: they are less harmful than cigarettes which, in addition to nicotine, also contain many other toxic substances.
The risks: The game is really worth the candle, since smoking increases the risks of miscarriage by 20%, those of extra-uterine pregnancy (which are multiplied by 1.5 in women who smoke 10 cigarettes a day, for 3 in those who smoke 20 and 5 in those who smoke 30), and the risk of premature birth by 50%.
In addition, nicotine and carbon monoxide pass the placental barrier and replace the oxygen present in the mother’s blood, necessary for the development of the child. It follows that the risks of delay in intra-uterine growth and of malformations are multiplied, especially during the first trimester.
Good to know: a man who continues to smoke during his partner’s pregnancy can endanger the child’s health by subjecting him to passive smoking. The arrival of a baby, therefore, is an opportunity to motivate each other in the difficult struggle to abandon cigarettes!
Alcohol: the baby doesn’t tolerate it at all!
If a woman can hold alcohol more or less well, the child just can’t tolerate it, regardless of the time of the pregnancy in which it is found. Alcohol is a major cause of congenital malformations . Alcohol consumption occurs during pregnancy, and the risk of fetal toxicity is higher.
The risks: contrary to popular belief, the placenta does not protect the child from alcohol and other toxic substances: the concentration of ethanol in amniotic fluid can reach levels comparable to those of maternal blood, if not higher, since the liver of the child is not yet fully developed and cannot eliminate it properly. Alcohol increases the risks of premature birth or spontaneous abortion.
Finally, the worst consequence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is fetal alcohol syndrome : a child who suffers from it has growth retardation, facial abnormalities, cranial and cerebral deformations (abnormalities of the lips and jaw, small head), frequent cardiac or urinary malformations, … severe mental and psychomotor delays.
Good to know: we recommend that you refrain from drinking throughout your pregnancy. You can just give yourself a glass of wine … in very exceptional cases!