In addition to the joys of nausea, weight gain and fluctuating hormones, expecting mothers can now add “feeling younger and healthier” to the list of benefits that come with being pregnant.
According to a new Israeli study, pregnancy can have a “rejuvenating effect” on women and could slow down the aging process, especially in older women.
According to an article published in the scientific journal Fertility and Sterility cited by The Telegraph, medical researchers at Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem studied the effects of livers transplants in pregnant and non-pregnant mice, finding that in 96 percent of the older, pregnant rodents, the liver had regenerated within two days. This was compared with 82% of young, non-pregnant mice and 46% of older, non-pregnant one.
The study also found that the pregnancy protected the mice from tissue damage around the heart, which is part of the human aging process, and that pregnant mothers got an injection of “youth serum” from the babies they were carrying.
“As we age, it is more difficult for our tissue to regenerate itself,” the study found.
“Because pregnancy is a unique biological model of a partially shared blood system, we have speculated that pregnancy would have a rejuvenating effect on the mother.”
The healthy, rejuvenating effect is temporary and lasts for about two months after delivery, the research indicated.
The review was led by Tal Falick Michaeli, Rubin Chair in Medical Science at Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, who has also done research on pregnancy that suggests it can restore the mother’s muscles’ ability to regenerate.