What’s cooler than creating a little mini version of yourself and your partner? Genetics can be such an interesting topic. Here are some fun newborn facts about genetics you may not know!

1. Your baby will always be part of you

Research has found that even decades after giving birth the infant’s cells can still be found in the mother’s body. These cells have been found in bone, liver, blood, and skin among other places. There are many theories about the possible benefits or complications of this phenomenon. One theory is that a fetus will send healthy cells to sites of maternal injury to ensure the health of the mother throughout the pregnancy (Comitre-Mariano, 2021). A little you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. How cute!

2. Your own mother carried the egg that created your child!

Females develop all of their eggs during fetal development. This means that the egg inside of you that created your child was also inside of your mother when she was pregnant with you. And if you’ve had a baby girl, you’ve carried the egg that will someday create your grandchild ​​(Silber, 2015). Furthermore, this means that physical and environmental factors a woman experiences during her pregnancy may not only impact the fetus she is carrying but could have impacts for two generations. How cool is that newborn fact?!

3. 1 in a Million

When females first develop eggs in utero, they develop around 6 MILLION eggs. This number prunes down to about 400,000 before puberty and only a couple hundred eggs will ever make it through ovulation (Silber, 2015). All of those different possibilities and here’s the one you get to meet. Your child truly is 1 in 6 million!

4. Maternal & Paternal Chromosomes

Your baby’s body keeps track of which chromosomes came from mom and which from dad in each and every cell! The same chromosome is used differently depending on which parent it came from. This phenomenon is known as imprinting and is a relatively new area of research. This gets even more interesting when you think about a mother passing her chromosome to a son who will later pass this chromosome to his child. The mother passes the chromosome down to be used as a maternal chromosome but when the son goes on to have a child, the same chromosome is stripped of the maternal imprinting and re-set in the paternal pattern through a process that is not yet 100% understood (National Institute of Health, 2023). This means your grandchildren will use your chromosomes differently depending on the sex of your child.

5. Nature Vs. Nurture Newborn Fact

Nature vs nurture is a notoriously complicated web to untangle, but some personality traits and talents have been found to have genetic origins (passed from you to your baby through genetics). These include absolute perfect pitch which is the ability to recognize and name a musical note without any reference note (Gregerson, 2023). One’s pain tolerance and sensation can also be genetic. Interestingly, redheads seem to have a distinct pain tolerance profile compared to people with other hair colors (Robinson et al., 2021). Your picky toddler may also dislike more than the color green. It is possible they are tasting something entirely different when they eat vegetables like broccoli due to a gene that allows them to detect a bitter substance that others may not (Calancie et al., 2018).

It’s amazing what our bodies can do as we create new human life. Bringing a baby into the world is such a beautiful thing, but it’s even more exciting when you learn all these fun newborn facts. As your children grow up and take off into the world, know they will always be with you through genetics.

About The Author

Fiona MacWhinnie, RNFiona is a registered nurse who recently graduated from Northeastern University. She primarily focuses on newborn and postpartum care, and loves working as a newborn care expert with BBNN. Before her time as a nurse, she studied newborn genetics at Boston Children’s Hospital. In addition, Fiona participated in the Harvard Neonatal Student Research program. Fiona strives to develop meaningful relationships with every family she cares for. She loves watching children and families thrive with the proper care and support.

Calancie, L., Keyserling, T. C., Taillie, L. S., Robasky, K., Patterson, C., Ammerman, A. S., & Schisler, J. C. (2018). TAS2R38 Predisposition to Bitter Taste Associated with Differential Changes in Vegetable Intake in Response to a Community-Based Dietary Intervention. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics, 8(6), 2107–2119. https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.118.300547
Comitre-Mariano, B. (2021). Feto-maternal microchimerism: Memories from pregnancy: IScience. IScience.
Davidson, M. R., London, M. L., & Ladewig, P. W. (2016). Olds’ maternal-newborn nursing & women’s health across the lifespan (Tenth edition). Pearson.
Gregerson, P. K., MD (2023, January 1). Genetics of absolute pitch. Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. Retrieved April 24, 2023, from https://feinstein.northwell.edu/institutes-researchers/institute-molecular-medicine/robert-s-boas-center-for-genomics-and-human-genetics/absolute-pitch-and-related-cognitive-traits#:~:text=Genetics%20of%20absolute%20pitch,-Absolute%20pitch%2C%20commonly&text=This%20cognitive%20trait%20is%20generally,has%20a%20strong%20genetic%20basis.
Kajbafzadeh, A.-M., Sabetkish, S., & Sabetkish, N. (2018). The role of fetal-maternal microchimerism as a natural-born healer in integrity improvement of maternal damaged kidney. International Braz j Urol, 44(3), 608–616. https://doi.org/10.1590/s1677-5538.ibju.2017.0324
National Institute of Health (2023, April 18). Epigenetics. Genome. Retrieved April 23, 2023, from https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Epigenetics
Oktem, O., & Oktay, K. (2008). The Ovary. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1127(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1196/annals.1434.009
Robinson, K. C., Kemény, L. V., Fell, G. L., Hermann, A. L., Allouche, J., Ding, W., Yekkirala, A., Hsiao, J. J., Su, M. Y., Theodosakis, N., Kozak, G., Takeuchi, Y., Shen, S., Berenyi, A., Mao, J., Woolf, C. J., & Fisher, D. E. (2021). Reduced MC4R signaling alters nociceptive thresholds associated with red hair. Science Advances, 7(14), eabd1310. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abd1310
Silber, S. (2015). Unifying theory of adult resting follicle recruitment and fetal oocyte arrest. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 31(4), 472–475. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2015.06.022