Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Secret Baby" More than Italian Myth

Growing up, whenever there was an aunt, cousin, or any family member pregnant, it was common for the mother and father to not announce the pregnancy or reveal the news until 3 months had passed. Grandmothers and other older relatives would let family know it was bad fortune for the pregnant couple to spread word of the pregnancy to everyone, and that God would grant good graces to the child if it was kept secret until 3 months had passed.

Turns out, this secrecy is more than an Italian myth. The true significance behind announcing the "big news" is due to the actual stages of pregnancy, and the high risk of miscarriages that occurs within the first three months of pregnancy. During the first month, the amniotic sac, placenta and the formation of a primitive looking face occur. The second month of pregnancy brings about the development of more facial features, the first signs of arms legs fingers and toes; the neural tube, digestive organs and sensory track develop. At this point, the head of the baby is about 1/3 of it's total composition. Finally, in the third month of the pregnancy, the baby has become fully formed, developing toe nails and the first bit of teeth. Furthermore, the baby's reproductive organs are beginning to form, but the gender is not entirely distinguishable. The inner organs are far more developed, the circulatory and urinary systems are working and the liver produces bile.

Since the baby has developed these essential organs within the first three months, and the body is now stabilizing inner functions, the risk of a miscarriage drops considerably. After these 3 months, Italians would then consider it safe, and good omen to let family and friends know the excellent news.


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