After giving birth to a baby, a lot of moms miss the feeling of having their child as a part of them. But did you know that a part of your baby will always remain with you for years to come? Literally. Sounds unbelievable, right?
Researchers have found that babies shed fetal cells in the womb. These cells are not rejected by your body and they will continue to live inside you for many years. They generally travel through the placenta and bind themselves with your own cells.
Some say that these cells can even migrate to your brain and morph themselves into neurons. Pretty cool, right?
This entire process of you carrying your baby’s unique genes inside your body is often referred to as Microchimera.
In the beginning, this process was linked to certain illnesses like preeclampsia and autoimmune diseases. This might have been because the body’s immune system tried to fight off foreign cells like it was fighting a virus.
But there was evidence found that these “baby cells” help protect mom against certain conditions like cancer. Doctors have found baby’s DNA in certain places trying to fight against the condition that is affecting the mother.
In a recent study where 272 elderly women were analyzed, it was found that 70% of them had Y chromosomes in their blood - which is an indication of male cells. Male cells that could’ve been left behind during pregnancy. The incidences of cancer were low therefore resulting in a 60% lower overall mortality rate.
The study was done to find male cells rather than female cells for the only reason that it’s easier to find Y chromosome in women. Finding X chromosomes is difficult because to distinguish between 2 XX chromosomes is time-consuming and a costly process.
Microchimera is also known to reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer's and breast cancer.
We’ve always heard that women live longer than men and scientists believe that this might the answer as to why.
Although they couldn’t pinpoint on a single mechanism causing this, this study is actual proof that your baby’s cells protect you even years after you give birth.