You are more linked to your little one than you realise.
In fact, scientists have discovered that a small part of your baby literally remains inside you for a very long time after you give birth.
According to a study, which was conducted by researchers at the Arizona State University, our babies’ cells stay inside our bodies long after the pregnancy is over.
Our baby’s cells heal us
These cells can stay in your body for up to 38 years after your child is born and the good news is, it makes you stronger. The phenomenon is called ‘fetomaternal microchimerism’.
And these cells don’t just stay in the uterus, they actually migrate around the body, and can even end up in our brain, livers and lungs.
Foetal cells provide many benefits to mums, as they migrate to damaged tissue and repair it.
Their presence in wounds—including caesarean incisions—may point to their active participation in helping in the healing process.
“Foetal cells can act as stem cells and develop into epithelial cells, specialised heart cells, liver cells and so forth. This shows that they are very dynamic and play a huge role in the maternal body,” says researcher Amy Boddy.
“They can even migrate to the brain and differentiate into neurons. We are all chimeras.”
But these cells can also weaken our immune system
However, it is also possible that the mixture of blood and cells between mum and baby can cause damage to the body too.
Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and some thyroid conditions – occur when the body’s immune system begins attacking the body, as if it were a foreign invader.
And while experts don’t understand what causes these disorders, they have found they are several times more common in women than men, and often develop during a woman’s childbearing years.
Scientists say more research into these foetal cells needs to be conducted in the future to find out more about what they can do.
How fascinating! Our bodies are truly remarkable. And in a way, it’s kind of comforting to know that we are physically connected to our little ones for such a long time.