Despite the numerous other reasons, scientists have found one more that explains why children are more attached to their mothers than to their fathers.
Namely, their cells never really leave their mums’ bodies completely, some of them stay back and work several medical wonders. This obstetric phenomenon is known as fetomaternal microchimerism, which was initially discovered by Georg Schmorl, a 19th Century German scientist.
The word microchimerism stems from the idea that a mother is a kind of a smaller version of the mythical chimera. The cells that remain actually protect and heal the mothers, and even elongate their life spans.
During the course of the nine months gestation period, fetal cells leave the uterus through the placenta and enter the blood of the mother. They are further transported to several body organs, such as the liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, and even her skin layers.
What’s more, Amy Boddy, top bio-science researcher claims that these fetal cells do not simply occupy space, but are stem cells with unusual markings on their surfaces, which can differentiate into any type of cell, dependent on the tissue they migrate to.
“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.”
Additionally, these cells are magically healing, and they have a natural ability to stall the abnormal growth of breast cells, lowering the mother’s risk of breast cancer. They also reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases in their old age, like vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
The body naturally starts to clear and shrink these cells to death after parturition, but many of them succeed to survive and remain to protect the mothers. These cells accelerate the healing of the pregnancy scars, tissue stretches, and internal bleeding, and even speed up the healing process of the guts from C-section.
However, these fetal cells can affect the immune system of the mother, due to the adverse chemical reactions between the different chromosomes in the mother’s organs and the fetal chromosomes.
They might also be a reason for the more frequent development of auto-immune diseases in women.
Even though there is a need of further research on the migration of fetal cells, it is a fact that parturition can never be one-hundred percent complete, which explains the extremely strong bond of mothers and their children.
According to Scientific American:
“Even if microchimeric fetal cells don’t turn out to be a power player in a mother’s health, they might help persuade scientists that pregnancy is a health factor that needs to be considered anew.
“Before we knew about these persisting fetal cells, and the persisting maternal cells, researchers didn’t often analyze their data according to the difference in sex,” says J. Lee Nelson, a professor of human immunogenetics at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and a co-author on the rheumatoid arthritis study.
“And they certainly didn’t analyze it according to a woman’s pregnancy history. One of the benefits of this field is showing how important this can be.”