Safe and secure are what most babies in the womb feel, and most mothers would agree. Babies are located in the womb in a sac surrounded by water conveniently resting and relaxing. The babies are well taken care of, having all their needs met without any effort on their part.
The mother eats, they eat. The mother drinks, they drink. Everything is already prepared and served to them. They don’t have to get up and go to a certain room to empty their bladders or flush out their stools. They don’t have to put on extra clothes to stay warm or take off clothes to keep cool. Their environment doesn’t change in temperature. It’s stays just right for their bodies.
They can sleep long hours - up to 17 hours per day - without interruption. So they get the rest they need, and we wish for. They can hear different sounds and voices in the womb. They can enjoy the sounds of music. Yes, life in the womb is one of comfort, ease and relaxation. Baby is happy and life is grand.
But wait, not so quick. It may seem as if everything is cuddly and peachy, but if that baby could talk he or she would tell us there are definitely some not so great things going on in the womb. And that nine months of life in the womb can be pretty difficult at times. Here is a list of reasons why the womb isn't quite the cuddly space we thought it was.
13 Women Carry The DNA From All Of Their Partners
Believe it or not, a woman carries the DNA of every person she has had relations with. What does this mean? It means that a fetus that is the result of one partner could potentially be impacted by the DNA of a partner that the mother has been with in the past.
According to a study, the DNA that the mother carries from past partners could end up affecting the development of a fetus. While the DNA of the fetus will not be impacted from past partners’ DNA, the traits from past partners’ could potentially alter the fetus, which could potentially impact the traits of the fetus.
In other words, a baby’s eye color or height could be determined by the DNA of a past partner. Crazy, right?
12 Women Become Genetic Chimeras
Many mothers report that they still feel as if their children are a part of them years after they have given birth. While some may say that this is just a ‘feeling,’ scientists have discovered that it is actually true!
While a woman is expecting, cells from the developing fetus transfer across the placenta and move into the body of the mother, causing them to become a part of the mother’s bodily tissues. As a result, the mother ends up carrying genetic material from the body of her child, making the mother, what scientists have coined, a microchimera (legendary animals that are made of different animals.)
The results of carrying those tissues from their children’s bodies can impact the mother in a number of ways, both positively and negatively. For example, it can lead to rapid healing of wounds, or it can lead to higher cancer risk.
11 Embryo Health During Implantation
The womb isn’t only a not-so-cuddly place for a developing fetus; it may not be a cuddly space for embryos. According to research, human embryos tend to produce trypsin, a chemical that tells the womb to get the womb ready for implantation.
However, if the human body finds that an embryo has a large amount of genetic abnormalities, the chemical signal can be altered. This alteration can result in the womb developing a stress response, which could be detrimental to the implantation of the embryo.
Researchers have compared the womb’s response to an embryo that has a lot of genetic abnormalities to an ‘entrance exam,’ of sorts; in order to be implanted in the womb, the embryo must first pass a test. In some cases, this ‘entrance exam’ may be too easy – allowing embryos with developmental abnormalities to implant – or too hard – rejecting healthy embryos from implanting.
10 Connected To Mom
Since living in a womb is the only way a human being is formed and makes its entrance in life, the baby is essential connected to his or her mother until their body can function properly without assistance from their mother’s body on the outside. That means the baby is completely dependent upon their mother for everything - nutrition, safety, and development of their body.
If the mother doesn’t take care of her body and health, the baby’s health is affected. If the mother smokes, drinks or takes drugs, the baby’s health and life is in danger. If the mother is at high-risk for diseases or illnesses, this can negatively affect the baby’s health. If the mother experiences stress, the baby will also experience stress.
That means the mother has to make it her number one goal to do everything properly and efficiently as well as she can for the health of the baby.
9 The Father's Genes Override The Mother's Genes
Paternal genes are stronger during the implantation process than the mother's genes. That doesn't mean that the mother's genes aren't being used, but once implantation has begun, the father's genes get to work transferring all they have to offer the egg to help determine the gender of the baby, and complete the genetic code that will make up the baby.
Although equal amounts of genetic material is provided by the mother and father, the father's genes will become stronger as the child grows and will ultimately decide how the child will develop into an adult. While the mother's genes are more likely to pass along genetic diseases, sorry moms!
Recent research into the DNA code and how genes work with one another has shed some light on how mental disorders are passed as well as physical ailments like diabetes and heart disease.
8 Work-Related Issues
If the mother is working in an environment that is loud due to machines or filled with chemicals that may be harmful or in a stress-filled environment, that can be difficult for the baby too. If the environment is too loud, the baby may find it difficult to get the sleep they need.
Now even though this may not affect the baby directly since sound is muffled, it still may agitate them because the muffled sounds are constant for 8 to 10 hours and are still disturbing. If mother works in an environment filled with chemicals, not only is that dangerous to the mother it’s very dangerous to the baby.
And lastly, if the mother is under a great deal of stress this will no doubt affect the baby too. Studies have shown when expectant women are stressed, the baby feels the stressed. It feels that “flight or fright” reaction and this can cause problems in their development.
7 Fetuses Release Their Own Hormones Into Their Mother
While that little guy or gal is gestating, they are also releasing hormones into the mother for a few reasons, to let the endometruim know it's a healthy egg sack, but also to help determine the gender of said egg sack. From the eighth week to the twenty-fourth, the fetus releases testosterone in 3 waves.
At conception every egg is female due to the amount of female hormones already present in the womb. All males will start to develop female genitals until the SRY genes match with the y chromosome and switches the genetic code from female to male. In that case, the male genitals will start to form instead of female ones and produce their own testosterone as well.
If the SRY genes aren't matched with the y chromosome, then it's a little girl for future mom-to-be.
Fetuses also send out more hormones to access the mother's blood sugar supply, this way the extra supply the mother's body carries to the fetus allows the fetus to eventually produce their own, but the mother's body can sense the manipulation for extra blood sugar and fights back by producing cortisol and attacking the fetus.
6 Feeling Pain In Utero
Research has definitely shown that babies in the womb feel pain, and they feel it in different ways. First, they feel physical pain directly. If there’s direct pain the baby feels, they will react in a way to avoid the pain as much as they can. However, since they are located in a small place where they can’t move a great deal, it can be difficult for the baby to avoid such pain.
Next, they feel pain indirectly. If the mother falls or is involved in an accident or situation where she is injured and perhaps her stomach may have been involved and possibly injured, the baby will definitely feel this pain and pressure. Many times the womb which is protected by a thick covering, keeps the baby from abstaining injury.
Yet, the baby can definitely indirectly experience the mother’s anxiety or fear just like they can experience her stress.
5 Fetuses Dealing With Asthmatic Mothers
One of the biggest reasons why a womb can not be so cozy and cuddly is if the mother is suffering from underlying diseases that can make life for the baby complicated and uncomfortable. One of the most common and serious health conditions that can complicate pregnancies is Asthma.
Asthma affects the mother’s breathing and affects the baby receiving the adequate and sufficient oxygen they need. Every expectant mother who has asthma should consult with her doctor as to what she should be doing and medical directions she should be following during pregnacny in order to ensure proper oxygen is getting to the baby.
The risks of respiratory issues with her baby can be reduced if her asthma is controlled properly. Also, consult your physician regarding the type of medicine you are taking to treat your asthma that may or may not affect your baby. Expectant mothers with asthma should practice breathing techniques more frequently.
4 How Mom's Gestational Diabetes Affects The Fetus
Another reason how an unborn can be uncomfortable in the room is due to a risk of health complications due to some mothers developing what’s called Gestational diabetes. Pregnancy causes your body to naturally become more resistant to insulin to produce more glucose to provide nourishment to your baby.
When your body needs more insulin, the pancreas secretes more to produce extra glucose in the blood. What happens with Gestational diabetes is that the pancreas can’t produce the extra demand for insulin which causes the blood sugar levels to rise to diabetic levels. This issue can definitely make life in the womb anything but cozy and put your baby’s health at risk.
Your doctor will inform you if this is a problem or if you’re at risk of this disease during your pregnancy so proper treatment can be applied. Once the baby is born, your blood sugar levels usually return back to normal and the diabetes goes away.
3 The Endometrium Can Reject The Blastocyst
Women who are having difficulty becoming with child on their own take comfort in knowing that they do have the potential to become expectant, thanks to assisted reproductive technologies (ART.) However, it should be noted that despite the incredible advances in ART, and the fact that many women do have success becoming with child using them, the rate of implantation are still relatively low.
In order for an embryo to successfully implant, a reciprocal interaction between the blastocyst and endometrium is necessary. During this interaction, the embryo and the endometrial both must appeal to the uterus in order for implantation to occur. Failed implantation is believed to be the result of something being wrong with the embryo and/or the failure of the uterus to be receptive to the embryo.
In other words, despite medical advances, there is a lot that has to happen in order for a uterus to accept the implantation of an embryo, which is one of the primary reasons why ART does not always work.
2 Reproductive Issues That Plague Fetuses
There are several reproductive issues that can impact the health of the womb, making it impossible for a fetus to successfully develop. The following are the most common reproductive issues:
- Endometriosis – A condition that causes the cells that normally line the uterine cavity – endometrium – develop outside of the uterus. According to research, an estimated 25% and 50% of women who are infertile have endometriosis, and an estimated 30% and 40% of women who have endometriosis are infertile.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – This is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. It causes the ovaries, and sometimes the adrenal glands, to develop higher levels of androgens – a hormone – than normal. The heighten levels of androgens impact the way the ovaries release eggs during ovulation, thus resulting in infertility.
- Primary Ovary Insufficiency (POI) – This condition prevents the ovaries from producing hormones, and thus from producing eggs, at an early age. This prevents regular ovulation, or completely prevents ovulation from occurring at all.
1 Preeclampsia – The Ultimate Battle
During pregnancy, a woman and her baby will continuously be monitored to ensure that they are in good health. One of the most common conditions that doctors will check for is preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that results in high blood pressure and kidney damage in the mother, among other issues.
Most women who develop preeclampsia develop it toward the end of their third trimester. With proper medical care, these women and their babies are not negatively impacted. However, the earlier the condition is developed, or if it goes undiagnosed, the greater the risk on a mother and her baby.
Preeclampsia leads to a restriction of the blood vessels in the mother, which causes high blood pressure and reduces blood flow. This can impacted the health of vital organs in the mother’s body, including her brain, liver and kidneys.
Preeclampsia can also impact the flow of blood to the uterus, which can cause problems for the baby. Slowed growth, low levels of amniotic fluid and premature birth can all result from preeclampsia, all of which can be detrimental to a baby.