High Oxytocin Levels in Parents

High oxytocin levels usually also relate to the bond between new mothers and their babies. But, what happens in the case of new fathers? Next, we'll give you some information that might surprise you.
High Oxytocin Levels in Parents

Last update: 16 June, 2021

Oxytocin is the hormone of love and happiness. Therefore, it’s not surprising that new mothers experience an increase in their oxytocin levels once their babies are born.

In fact, oxytocin is mostly released during childbirth and breastfeeding. This is because it acts as an anxiolytic that promotes an emotional and affective bond between mothers and their babies.  

But, what happens in the case of both parents? Do fathers also experience an increase in their oxytocin levels once their babies are born? In this article, we’ll answer these interesting questions.

“When you become a parent, you realize that love can last forever”.

-Anonymous- 

Oxytocin levels in parents.

Changes in parents after their baby is born

After babies are born, parents fall instantly in love with them; this is what love at first sight is. In fact, oxytocin is related to this new feeling. Nowadays, we know that this hormone is directly related to parental, romantic, and filial attachment in human beings. 

“Labor is the only blind date where you know you’ll meet the love of your life”.

-Anonymous-

Even though there’s been numerous research about this topic, they usually focus on hormonal, physical and neurological changes in mothers, when they’re pregnant and after they give birth. However, nowadays, specialists are studying the changes that fathers also experience during this stage.

A study carried out in Yale University (USA) and Bar-Ilan University (Israel) by Ruth Feldman, phycologist and neurologist, states that fathers experience something similar to mothers in their brains, once their babies are born. 

High oxytocin levels in parents

According to Ruth Feldman’s study, after their babies are born, many fathers experience an oxytocin level increase, just as mothers do.

However, this isn’t something that happens to all fathers. In fact, it only occurs to those fathers who become emotionally involved in their children’s upbringing, assuming the role is as the primary caregiver. This is much more common nowadays than it used to be.

Oxytocin in fathers.

Therefore, even if mothers are biologically prepared to respond to their children’s demands, they naturally segregate large amounts of this “love hormone”, but fathers can experience this too. Of course, this will happen as long as they maintain physical and emotional contact with their child.

“Parenthood is grounded on the relationship between children and their parents, during their first years of life. The love a mother feels for their children is a reflection of the love she received when she was a child. The love a father feels for their children is a reflection of the love he received when he was a child. We learn to love during childhood”.

-John Bowlby- 

About oxytocin levels and the emotional bonds between parents and their children

This is essential to form a strong and healthy bond between parents and their children. In conclusion, it’s very important to hug, kiss, pay attention and keep in touch with your children. All in all, you need to show your kids how much you care for them, and they need to know that your love is unconditional.

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  • Feldman, R. (2012). Oxytocin and social affiliation in humans. Hormones and behavior61(3), 380-391.