In a process officially called ‘fetomaternal microchimerism’ — I love how the name just runs off your tongue — medical researchers concluded that a baby actually helps a mother heal from pregnancy and birth.
When a woman gives birth it is a traumatic experience for both infant and mother. During the birthing the mother can actually be hurt and medical researchers found that the baby actually sends its stem cells into the mother to help heal the damage.
There has been a lot of news recently about stem cells and their ability to heal damaged body parts and organs. Stem cells are “blank cells” that can repair any type of tissue. If a stem cell is hanging around arm tissue, it will repair that. If it is hanging around heart tissue, that same stem cell will replicate those cells.
Along with their ability to heal and repair, stem cells also play a major role in the baby’s creation in the mother’s womb.
But this is where it gets interesting. Once, the stem cells have played their role in forming a baby, while still in the womb the baby floods the mother with stem cells that help the mother heal from any damage that may have occurred during the pregnancy.
But the healing isn’t limited to just birth, these stem cells will eventually graft into the mother’s blood marrow and move out from mom’s blood system to aid repair year’s later. According to a study conducted in 1996, researchers found stem cells from one baby boy were still in his mother 27 years after birth.
The same process happens in animals. Researchers at New York City’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine discovered after one female mouse gave birth, her young’s stem cells actually helped repair the mother’s heart when researchers induced cardiac problems.
Other studies have concluded that a baby’s stems cells help their mother in multiple areas including brain, liver problems and even resisting breast cancer.
Though the supporting articles repeatedly referred to the baby as a fetus and marveled at the wonders of evolution, one thing has proven particularly troubling for researchers.
Despite having a completely different genetic code, the baby’s stem cells are somehow completely integrated into the mother’s body. There is no rejection of these stem cells by the mother.
This is a major problem for all other forms of organ transplants — no matter how closely related the people are — requiring powerful drugs to stop the tissue from being rejected by the body.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. (Psalm 139:14-16 NASV)
- Can a fetus send its own stem cells to repair its mother’s damaged organs: Snope
Male fetal progenitor cells persist in maternal blood for as long as 27 years postpartum. US National Library of Medicine
- Fetus donates stem cells to heal mother’s heart: The New Scientist