Oxytocin is a breastfeeding hormone released in a new mother after the delivery. The new study from the research teams of Kyoto University and Azabu University identifies the new role of this hormone in strengthening the bond between the mother and the newborn baby.
According to this study, the oxytocin levels in the mother can predict the happiness and sensitivity of her relation with her newborn. The complete study findings are published in the journal Biology Letters.
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Oxytocin is not only a breastfeeding hormone but also carries importance for its major role in pregnancy and childbirth. It induces the contractions for the labor and also enhances lactation in the new mother. But all its effects are not physical.
Having high levels of oxytocin is somehow responsible for building the bond between mother and baby. It also plays a role in how the mother pay interacts with other people. It relieves stress, depression, and all the negative emotions and induces happiness.
But most of the information on oxytocin is checked upon the administered participants and not the natural levels, which is why this study has its own limitations. Some of the researchers believe that the intranasal studies on oxytocin are somehow inconsistent mainly because of the individual variations in oxytocin levels which are somehow ignored.
That’s why this new study tried to find out the natural oxytocin inside the mother’s body instead of evaluating the effects with controlled oxytocin levels. The changes in mother’s behaviors related to oxytocin were examined on the basis of their behavior before and after they started breastfeeding. In these two situations, ideally, they should have different levels of oxytocin which accounts for most of their actions.
The researchers found that there was a huge difference in terms of oxytocin levels in all new mothers. This change was related to their responses, behaviors, and negative-positive emotions. Those with high amounts of oxytocin were more active, energetic, and positive than others.
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Breastfeeding is a common thing in various parts of the body, countries, and cultures. Doctors recommend new mothers to breastfeed their babies because of its multiple benefits associated with health. For example, it builds the natural immunity of the baby, saves him from infections, and even determines the baby’s weight gain tendencies.
In addition to this, breastfeeding has numerous benefits for the mother as well. It improves the healing after childbirth and reduces the recovery time. But these are all physical benefits.
In terms of psychological effects, the breastfeeding hormone, oxytocin is responsible for saving the new mother from stress-related diseases such as postpartum depression. It promotes the natural bonding between the mother and her newborn baby.
All behavioral changes are mainly due to the hormonal changes and to help these problems it is necessary to understand these changes first. Based on the hormonal evaluation, those who are at high risk of stress-related disorders can be saved.