The Mother-Child Bond

I’m not much of a science wizard, but I recently did a tiny bit of “research” on microchimerism. Yes, it sounds weird, but I think that you may find it as interesting as I did.

Microchimerism is when two completely different genetic cells appear in the same individual, such as after an organ transplant. Did you know that this happens in pregnancy – no matter if you carry full-term or not? Cells from your unborn baby actually transfer into your bloodstream, and then travel to your organs, where they have been found to linger for decades! Y-chromosomes have been found in countless autopsies on women, indicating that they carried a male child. Even the babies we only carried in our womb for a few weeks, remain within our hearts – literally – and other organs, such as our brain, liver, kidney, thyroid, and even our skin for years after their little bodies have left our womb.

Scientist have determined that healthier women tend to carry more microchimeric cells than women with cancer and other health issues. There has also been proof that if a mother carried her baby for at least 20 weeks, this transfer of cells may be physically beneficial to the mother. Some of these cells are thought to be fetal stem cells, which are then used by the mother’s body to aid in her healing processes. Doctors have found where these transferred fetal cells have “sought out” disease and injury in a mother’s body and have turned themselves into organ cells in order to repair damage. They even believe that some of these cells may help prevent the growth of some tumors.

Of course, not all is known about the effects of cell transfer, but I encourage you to read more about it. As I said before, I am definitely not a scientist, but I do think that this finding certainly reassures us that our God is awesome, and that once again, His ways are beyond finding out! He uses our pain and loss to heal and restore us, even when we cannot see it happening.

Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand? Job 26:14

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! Romans 11:33

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13-16

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=scientists-discover-childrens-cells-living-in-mothers-brain
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fetal-cells-microchimerism
http://singularityhub.com/2013/02/05/new-studies-show-cells-from-fetus-end-up-in-mothers-brains-and-hearts/

Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2013. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp36p05-12-13

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