The Magic of Motherhood: From Superorganisms to Superheroes
There are many modern miracles but others are as old as time.
A story we’re all familiar with, the circle of life is built on the foundations of motherhood. Like the beginnings of the universe, great things can start with a simple spark and ignite into something significantly larger. The ability to create life from seemingly nothing continues to be one of life’s greatest marvels. Even more astounding is how something so complex - such as a human - stems from something as small as two single cells merging together, and then the real magic happens.
And somehow, the magic continues to grow like the love shared between mother and child.
The Roles of Health
Our personalities, our genetics, and even our biology come from our mothers. The body of an expecting mother transforms in a physiological manner to support life, actively engaging immune cells to protect and blood cells to nurture the growing fetus. The microorganisms inside their bodies also change and adapt in ways that can benefit the process 1.
Science is constantly showing the essential relationship between full body health, the health of our microbiomes, and fetal development. Our microbiomes play key roles in hormone balances and metabolism, both of which go through dramatic changes during pregnancy. But finding ways to navigate these incredible changes inside the body is just the first of many challenges mothers face throughout their life.
And these courageous and bold individuals continue to prove time and time again that being a mother doesn’t just make you a superorganism: it makes you a superhero.
It takes guts to put the health of your child before the health of yourself - and that’s exactly what so many mothers do. From breastfeeding to picky eaters, our mothers are constantly having to make quick decisions about their health to keep up with the constant movement and changes of childrearing. It’s no easy feat. With the incredible pressures of ‘perfection’ placed on mothers these days, it’s a little too easy to forget that they are individuals that deserve a little rest, relaxation, and care too.
Not to mention, supporting their health and giving them the energy boost they need to tackle all of life’s other challenges.
3 Ways to Support Mom’s Health
Start with what her needs are
How many of us have asked our mothers what they want lately? As we get older, we start to see that no matter what stage of life we’re at we still have our own needs and priorities. What your health goals may be, vary greatly from your neighbor's; and your mother’s needs are no different. Before we overload a thousand supplements or activities or other ideas on our mothers to keep them healthy - find out what matters to them most. Every journey is unique and requires a personalized approach. Setting her up with a personal trainer might be a little overdone if all she wants to do is just go for a regular walk to admire the flowers. The best recommendations start with a simple conversation.
Send her the right resources
Our mothers are responsible for our earliest years of education and experience. Their wisdom kept us safe and healthy throughout childhood. If you’re looking to support the health of your mother, make sure she knows where and how to access educational information for all her health questions. Google these days isn’t always the most effective tool for science-based recommendations. We want to find solutions that work and are sustainable - and that require access to resources rooted in scientific research. There are a number of public-friendly websites aimed to help educate the world on health. Check out a few of these:
For those who like to ‘watch’ and ‘listen’ to their information, we also partner with and can recommend experts in fertility, mommy fitness, wellness, nutrition and more:
Be her partner
Science says it's easier to change habits for the better when you have an accountability partner 2. And frankly, we all could stand to spend a little more time with our families. Even the smallest things can help support mom’s health journey. Short walks, shared meals, and other joint efforts (both small and large) not only can help habits stick, but they also do something else:
They keep us feeling connected to those we love. From the moment we were born, our mothers were there. They were our first partners in our journey - maybe it is time we return the favor.
We all could use a little help now and then, even the superhero in your life.
But with a little love and a little care, there are countless ways we can support our mothers in their own personal health journeys. Maybe it’s a conversation about needs or maybe a conversation about what ‘healthy’ could be like. Either way, it’s just one more thing you can share with the mother in your life, and that makes you a bit of a superhero too.
Yao Y, Cai X, Chen C, Fang H, Zhao Y, Fei W, Chen F and Zheng C (2020) Front. Pharmacol. 11:643. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.00643
Perry, B., Ciciurkaite, G., Brady, C. F., & Garcia, J. (2016). PloS one, 11(12), e0169193. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0169193