Based on an article by Suzanne Sadedin, who is an evolutionary biologist who has worked at Monash University, University of Tennessee, Harvard University, and KU Leuven. 11 September 2019
What sight could be more moving than a mother nursing her baby? What better icon could one find for love, intimacy and boundless giving? There’s a reason why the Madonna and Child became one of the world’s great religious symbols.
We can imagine science fiction films with aliens where the young creature inside its mother drain her during pregnancy then eat her when they are born. This actually happens with some spiders!
With primates such as humans and apes issues caused by mother / foetus ‘conflict’ causes 15% women to suffer life-threatening illnesses during pregnancy. Even with modern medicine, pregnancy kills 800 women every day worldwide.
In primates cells from the placenta puncture the mother’s arteries, then pump growth hormones into them so they widen, to capture more blood. This could explain why primate babies have bigger brains – brains need lots more blood!
The full article from Aeon by Suzanne Sadedin can be seen below – it’s quite technical (and long)! You can also look at our maternity section.
We never imagined this stuff – it just shows how despite our conscious feelings, nature does its own thing on a completely different level.