Study Shows Maternal Bonds With Baby Are Stronger Than We Ever Imagined!

Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump
Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

We’ve known forever that the bonds between mom and baby run deeper, stronger and more fluid than anyone could ever begin to explain. Now, new research proves that there’s a physical connection, more interconnected and integral to our being than anyone ever imagined. As mom carries baby during pregnancy and shares a physical connection through the placenta, cells can travel freely between mom and baby (by way of the placenta). And while human intellect has us intent on believing that we are autonomous individuals, it’s impossible to deny the fact that so many of the cells that passed between mom and baby during gestation stay there — forever.

The stunning findings from the latest research show that cells from other individuals are also found in the brain. Male cells were found in the brains of women, living there, as some research pointed out, for more than several decades. Their impact and purpose may be entirely a guessing game at this point, but the study went on to show that microchimeric cells are not only found circulating in the blood, but they’re also embedded in the brain. Microchimerism most commonly occurs from the exchanging of cells through the placenta during pregnancy (and as of late, there is more and more evidence pointing to the fact that these cells may also be transferred from mother to infant through nursing, as well).

Throughout the study, researchers found the possibility that microchimerism may also take place in the exchange of cells between twins in utero, as well as the possibility of cells from an older sibling residing in the mother could potentially find it’s way back through the placenta while mom is pregnant with a younger sibling. What’s more, women may also have microchimeric cells within them from their mother. As it all comes together and the research only further proves the fact that what’s in mom is also in baby and in ourselves and within our siblings — its incredible to find that what’s in one of us is found in all of us. The bonds of family, of mom and baby are more integral than we’d ever before been able to prove through scientific research and it’s amazing that research has been able to take us this far.

At this point in the research, what the fetal microchimeric cells do within the mother’s body is unclear, but researchers are delighted by the intriguing possibilities — and the fact that these cellular links appear between baby and mother so long after baby has left the womb is mystifying. Because fetal microchimeric cells are similar to stem cells because hey are able to become a variety of diffierent tissues, one research group found that these fetal cells migrated to the maternal heart to help repair heart damage. Another study, on animals, found that microchimeric cells could be fond within the maternal brain, where they had become nerve cells, which prompted researchers to note that these cells might have become functionally integrated to the brain.

Do you think you’re connected to baby in this way?

Plus, more from The Bump:

How Breastfeeding Helps You Bond With Baby

Being a Good Mom — It’s All in the Genes!

You Know You’re a Mom When…