A woman’s body is more adaptable than she may think. New Israeli research studies led by Hadassah Medical Center and Hebrew University show that women’s bodies naturally learn from their first pregnancy to create healthier second, and further, pregnancies. A six-year cell study was conducted, and research found that complications during first time births are more likely to decrease during the second, third and so on.
Research shows that once cells experience pregnancy for the first time, they are able to learn and adapt to fight any difficulties experienced in round one. Much like Charles Darwin studied the survival of the fittest, species adaptations and natural evolution, the research shows that the pregnant body also evolves with each birth, perhaps why pregnancy tends to get easier with every child.
Professor Simcha Yagel, one of the team researchers who leads the Obstetrics and Gynecology department of Hadassah Medical Center has mentioned the “clinical fact that second pregnancies are more efficient than the first.”
The research focused on “Natural Killer,” or NK cells, found in both men and women, which are in charge of fighting illness, virus and disease. The team studied these specific cells in first and second pregnancies and uncovered their crucial role in creating healthy babies. In pregnancy, these cells become more protective as the fetus develops. The study shows that about 70% of the cells in the fetus are NK cells, which retain ‘memory’ after a first pregnancy to better shield the next fetus from difficulties.
The research team, led by Moriya Gamliel, aims to improve the experience of the women who go through extreme difficulties during first pregnancies and are moving forward to determine if NK cells can be trained to better support a woman’s body.