"There's going to be a very difficult transition for this mother and child who have been unwittingly brought into the limelight," says Jennifer Freed, a marriage, family and child therapist who specializes in teenagers.
The child's life will be forever changed, which Freed calls a "double-edged sword." If he didn't already know who his real father is, that will bring a "shock" to the child, Freed says. Consequently, "doors could open to him that he never had before. Now he's Arnold Schwarzenegger's son. It really is an entire leap of status overnight."
"These are just mind-blowing moments in life," says Gary Neuman, a family therapist and author of Connect to Love. "One of the worst feelings is embarrassment and humiliaition, especially in public. There will be an emotional fallout for the child."
Neuman says the child has been put in an "unfair" situation.
"He's still going to have to go to school and might have to put up with public ribbing," Neuman says. "He's lost his ability to be judged on his own. It's even harder because it comes out of the blue. It's not like he was born to a famous person."
Freed predicts that the child, who had no choice in his parents' decision to keep him a secret, will be well-received by the general public.
"People will pour their sympathy and compassion toward him. He will be the recipient of a lot of love, but he will also have to bear the shadow of an illicit affair."
As for Baena, who will forever be known as the woman who helped rip apart Schwarzenneger and Shriver's marriage, opportunities will arise for her, as well.
"On the good side, it's going to empower this woman to be able to speak out if she chooses to talk about this secret that she's kept for years," Freed says. "That's never a healthy situation for anybody. When we keep a secret, we increase our level of shame and unworthiness. This child has been shrouded with this stigma since Day One, even though it's just now come out."
But now that the secret is out, Baena can take the proper steps forward to heal.
"When a mother gives birth it should be a celebration, but if you have to silence your maternal nature, that's not healthy," she says. "To cut that off because of protection for Arnold, possibly for herself, is also a deep wound in what is usually very celebratory moment in one's life cycle."
Freed and Neuman recommend intensive therapy for all parties involved but especially the child. "Children are extremely resilient," Freed says. "He (or she) can work it out."
Despite Schwarzenegger's behavior, his return to Hollywood probably won't be affected, experts say.
"This is not going to prevent the majority of people from seeing his movies," says Patricia Leavy, associate professor of sociology at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass.
"When there is such a public scandal there is a stain maybe forever, so I don't think people will forget this. But at the end of the day, will this impact whether people see his movies? I don't think so. In a perverse way, it's a lot of free publicity."
Pop Eater columnist Rob Shuter says the scandal could actually help Schwarzenegger's return to the big screen.
"It certainly put him back in the public eye," Shuter says. "It's not as shocking, as it's not something that is out of character. He's made a lot of money by being a guy's guy. ... I think it reinforces his brand."
Shuter says blaming Hollywood for tolerating bad behavior by celebrities is not fair.
"It's the people who buy the tickets who determine if he will be a success or not," Shuter says. "The public has shown that with Mel Gibson; they did not turn out to see The Beaver. We'll have an option" about whether to support Schwarzenegger.
It will probably be awhile before a new Schwarzenegger film hits theaters.
"We'll probably have moved on to our next celebrity scandal or divorce" by then, Shuter says.
Contributing: Andrea Mandell, Maria Puente, Arienne Thompson