Amazing Research Shows That Being A Mum Changes Women On A Cellular Level

3 min read
Amazing Research Shows That Being A Mum Changes Women On A Cellular Level

Mums have always known that being a mother changes you, and that neither your body nor your life is ever the same after you have a baby.

But did you know that things aren’t just changing on the outside, but on the inside as well.

Fetal Microchimerism | Stay At Home Mum

Yes, as it turns out, having a baby can change your body on a cellular level, with recent research showing that babies’ cells can remain inside their mother’s body for as long as 38 years following a pregnancy. Even more amazing is that the cells don’t stay in the women’s uterus, but rather move throughout her entire body, having an impact on everything from her lungs to her brain.

The phenomenon is known in the medical world as fetal microchimerism, with the term originating from the Greek creature of myth that was apparently made up of a number of different creatures. But for mums, this isn’t a myth at all, but rather an amazing new reality.

Scientists are only now understanding just how much of an impact the metal cells have on a woman’s body. They settle in brains, digestive tracts, livers and lungs, and are even capable of reworking our own cells, giving them a new lease on life. Amy Body, a researcher at the Arizona State University’s Department of Psychology, and also the lead author of a study on fetal microchimerism had this to say:

“Fetal cells can act as stem cells and develop into epithelial cells, specialized heart cells, liver cells and so forth. This shows that they are very dynamic and play a huge role in the maternal body. They can even migrate to the brain and differentiate into neurons. We are all chimeras.”

The cells start to move out of the womb and through the mother’s body when she is still pregnant, with the cells working to direct nutrients towards the growth of her baby. Afterwards, these cells continue to live in the mother, and can help with the healing of damaged tissue and even assist to repair scar tissue.

Not All Good News

Sadly, not all of these fetal cells have a positive impact on mums. A number of studies have linked the presence of fetal cells in the body with autoimmune disorders, like thyroid disease, in the mother.Fetal Microchimerism | Stay At Home Mum

These disorders arise when the cells are mistaken for foreign objects by the mother’s immune system, which then begins to attack them. This may finally explain why women are three times more likely to suffer from auto-immune disorders than men.

So Much To Learn

There are still so many unknowns in the realm of fetal microchimerism, and as research continues into the phenomenon it seems clear that it’s not just mothers who will be interested to see the outcomes. The condition, once thought to be incredibly rare, is now known to be exceedingly common with new studies suggesting that women might acquire these cells every time they are pregnant.

However, there is still so much to learn, from the timeline that cells begin to move around the body, which some suggest to be as early as 7 weeks into pregnancy, to how the fetal cells might influence a woman’s behaviour, particularly around postpartum mental health.

But for now, research is merely confirming something that mothers have known all along: being a mum is about more than a feeling, it’s a literally imprint on your body and your mind

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About Author

Oceana Setaysha

Senior Writer A passionate writer since her early school days, Oceana has graduated from writing nonsense stories to crafting engaging content for...Read Morean online audience. She enjoys the flexibility to write about topics from lifestyle, to travel, to family. Although not currently fulfilling the job of parent, her eight nieces and nephews keep her, and her reluctant partner, practiced and on their toes. Oceana holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Writing and Indonesian, and has used her interest in languages to create a career online. She's also the resident blonde at, where she shares her, slightly dented, wisdom on photography, relationships, travel, and the quirks of a creative lifestyle. Read Less

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