5 Awesome Facts About Motherhood

Hey, mom! I see you there, sleep deprived and exhausted. Stressing about how to get it all done in the measly 24 hours you have. Wondering about what to feed your kids, how to help them sleep better, what you can do to be a better wife/mom/coworker/provider/all-around-super-woman.

Well, I’ve got news for you. You’re AWESOME! And not just for the reasons you think, although my guess is you’re pretty hard on yourself and you don’t think of yourself as awesome often enough.

I’m here to tell you you’re TOTALLY AWESOME, and thanks to Mommypotamus you have five new things to add to your “Why I’m Awesome” list.

Wait, what? You don’t have that list? Start one, now, even if it’s just to put these five things on it.

And then I challenge you to add one new thing to the list every week for a year. Yes, the last item on the list can say, “I’m awesome for writing this list for myself!”

Let’s get it started:

1. You and your child will always be connected (literally)

Ever heard of microchimerism? It’s the harboring of small numbers of cells that originated in a genetically different individual. According to Mommypotamus:

“These cells, full of our children’s DNA, collect in our hearts, our brains . . . everywhere we can think of. They become part of us, often staying with us for decades upon decades.”

Laura Sanders writes:

“… studies have found fetal cells in a mother’s bones, liver, lungs and other organs, suggesting that these cells have made homes for themselves throughout a mother’s body.  Maybe this is a way for a child to give back to the mother, in a sense. Growing fetuses slurp nutrients and energy out of a mother’s body during pregnancy … In return, fetuses offer up these young, potentially helpful cells. Perhaps these fetal cells, which may possess the ability to turn into lots of different kinds of cells, can help repair a damaged heart, liver or thyroid, as some studies have hinted.”

Isn’t that amazing? Keep reading. There’s more.

2. Your breastmilk makes real time medicine

“Researchers have long known that breastfeeding provides real-time immune support, meaning that as your baby encounters bacteria and viruses, you will make immune boosting compounds and pass them on via breast milk.”

But how does it work? Basically, when baby suckles she’s creating a vacuum through which her saliva is sucked back into your nipples. Receptors in your mammary glands read the saliva’s “signals” and get a real time immune status update about your baby. If your receptors learn that your baby is in need of certain antibodies, it compels your body to make them and send them through the breastmilk to your baby. Voila! Insta-medicine!

Your momma body is awesome, right?

Read more about breastmilk “7 Amazing Facts About Breast Milk Every Mom Needs to Know

3. Your smile is like music

You know how music can affect your heart rate? Like when really slow, soothing music you enjoy mellows you out and slows your heart rate, or when you put on that that upbeat, nightclub music to get your heart rate going during a workout? It’s because your body is synchronizing itself to the music.

Baby does the same with your smile!

This study found that 3-month old babies and their mothers coordinate heart rhythms when moms show signs of affection like smiling. Babies have faster heart rates than adults, but researchers found that mom-baby pairs hit more beats together than babies and women who were not their mothers.”

4. Your voice is like a hug

In a study where a group of 7-12 year old girls were put into a stressful situation (think impromptu speeches and public math quizzes), researchers wanted to know what would be most helpful in returning the girls to a relaxed state. They split the girls into three groups. One group got a hug from their mothers, another group got a phone call from their mothers, and the third watched the movie March of the Penguins.

“Oxytocin rose to similar levels in the first two groups and did not increase in the third, saliva and urine tests revealed. As this hormone’s presence grew, cortisol faded.

‘It was understood that oxytocin release in the context of social bonding usually required physical contact. But it’s clear from these results that a mother’s voice can have the same effect as a hug, even if they’re not standing there.’”

5. Our babies named us

Ever wonder why moms are called “mom?” Silly question, right? Except it’s not, really. It’s a very good question with an excellent answer.

“In English she’s mom; in Mandarin Chinese, mama. To Spanish kids, she’s mama too, though with slightly different accents on the syllables. “Mom” is translated as mamma in Iceland, ma in punjabi, em in Hebrew and me in Vietnamese. Noticing a trend? No coincidence — one of the first word-like sounds babies typically vocalize is a “ma” sound, and almost every language across the globe has taken that baby talk as the basis for the word for mother.” (source)

There you have it.

Guess what, mom? You’re AWESOME!


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