Mother, father show similar love hormone levels after childbirth

August 22nd, 2010 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 22 (IANS) Oxytocin, dubbed the love hormone, not only cements bonding among lovers, friends and colleagues, but also plays a key role in birth and maternal behaviour.
Although oxytocin release is stimulated by birth and lactation in mothers, it appears that other aspects of parenthood serve to stimulate oxytocin release in fathers.

Now, new research based on evaluation of 160 first-time parents (80 couples) twice after the birth of their first child, at six weeks and six months, found that fathers’ oxytocin levels were no different from that of the mothers’, according to the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Study co-author and neuroscientist Ruth Feldman of the Yale University, US found that oxytocin levels in husbands and wives were linked, said a Yale release.

Oxytocin was higher in mothers who were more affectionate towards their babies such as more gazing at them and touching them affectionately.

In fathers, oxytocin was increased with holding the baby, encouraging their infants to explore, among others.

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