5 Awesome Facts About Mums
To celebrate Mother’s Day, we want to celebrate how amazing you are, whether you’re trying to conceive, pregnant or a new mum. Women are pretty incredible at the best of times, but motherhood really ups the ante. Here are just a few awesome facts about mums to help remind you that you’re fabulous.
1. Let’s Trade DNA
Microchimerism. Does that term mean anything to you? No? We hadn’t heard of it either.
Microchimerism refers to a common occurrence in pregnancy, where cells from the fetus are transferred into the mother. These cells contain the child’s DNA and can live on in our blood and tissue for decades. Scientists really aren’t sure why this happens or what the health implications are, but some hypothesise that the fetal cells may help our immune system.
A heart-warming fact for those who have lost babies - because microchimerism occurs during pregnancy, fetal cells can also be found in mothers who have not carried their baby to term.
Scientists still aren’t sure why Microchimerism occurs or what the health implications are.
2. Your Body Is A Veritable Pharmacy
Breastfeeding babies are given tailored immune support in real-time, as they’re exposed to bacteria and viruses - how cool is that?!
As a breastfeeding mum, your body determines what protection your baby needs at any point in time and adjusts accordingly. It’s thought that there are two ways our bodies gather this information, and the first is like something out of a sci-fi movie.
Some scientists believe that when a baby nurses, a vacuum is created that allows two-way transfer. The baby gets milk, and its saliva is sucked back into mum’s nipple, where receptors decode what’s going on in the baby’s immune system.
The second feedback mechanism being researched is kissing. As we kiss those juicy little cheeks, our mouth picks up any pathogens that the baby has been exposed to, and our body reacts accordingly to create the antibodies they will need.
If that doesn’t convince you of how amazing you are, we don’t know what will!
Kissing helps our body determine our baby's needs and create the right antibodies.
3. Your Hormones Have Your Back
Most of us have heard of oxytocin; the “feel good” hormone that helps you connect with your baby. But did you know it does much, much more than that?
Oxytocin has a wide range of roles during pregnancy, such as causing you to be more cautious in your third trimester, helping to keep you out of harm’s way. It induces your contractions, but in doing so also helps you feel more relaxed and reduces your sensitivity to pain.
Lastly, oxytocin helps you forget the experience of childbirth, concentrating more on the bundle in your arms than the hours leading up to that moment.
4. A Rose By Any Other Name...
The very first sound a baby is able to make is “ma”, which is why you’ll find that the word “mother” in other languages usually starts with the letter M or contains an “em” sound in a vast number of languages. Can we do the whole alphabet? You bet.
Arabic - أم ('um)
Bosnian - Majko
Chinese - 母親 (Mǔqīn)
Dutch - Moeder
Estonian - Ema
French - Mère
Gujarati - માતા (Mātā)
Hungarian - मां (Maan)
Italian - Madre
Jamaican Patwah - Madda
Korean - 어머니 (Eomeoni)
Lao - ແມ່ (Aem)
Maltese - Omm
Nepali - आमा (Āmā)
Punjabi - ਮਾਂ (Māṁ)
Russian - мать (Mat')
Scottish Gaelic - Màthair
Thai - แม่ (Mæ̀)
Ukrainian - мати (Maty)
Vietnamese - Mẹ
Welsh - Mam
Xhosa - Umama
Yiddish - מוטער (Muter)
Zulu - Umama
Disclaimer: Ok, we’re a few short, but it’s still impressive!
*as taken from Google Translate
“Mother” starts with the letter M or “em” sound in many languages.
5. The Connection Runs Deep
Studies have shown that a baby’s heart can synchronise to match their mum or dad when they’re together, but not with strangers. In fact, the heartbeats are even more synchronised when a parent smiles at the baby.
And it’s not just biological parents either. This “matching of hearts” seems to be linked to emotional connection, showing that a baby can form the same attachment with adoptive parents too.
We think you’ll agree, there’s some awesome stuff going on inside that body of yours, both during pregnancy and afterwards. So, give yourself a pat on the back; you’re bloody fantastic.
If you liked this blog, you might also like 5 Fab Facts About Boobs.
Originally from New Zealand, Sarah is a mother to two boys and has lived in the UK for the past 10 years. She is a home-educator, freelance writer, Netflix-binger and has a penchant for strong black coffee.