Connecting with your family, especially with your kids, is essential for human interaction. It allows us to have secure relationship and different physical health benefits. However, have you heard that these positive effects can happen on a biological level too?

What is Oxytocin?

Sir Henry Dale discovered the hormone oxytocin in 1906. The hormone is released in great amounts especially during childbirth, making the uterus to contract and to have milk during breastfeeding. This hormone also occurs when we are connecting with our closest ones or with our love partners. It is very important for reproduction and caring for our kids. The oxytocin can help the mother to connect with their children because of the evolutionary sense which helps humans to survive. Oxytocin is known as “love molecule” because of its crucial importance during childbirth and maternal role.

The Biology of Love

Social connection is crucial for our existence for two reasons. The first reason is because it helps us gather more experiences and the second one is because it eases the childbirth process and it improves the brain development by decreasing anxiety and stress. Speaking about evolution, group rejection can provoke physical and developmental issues, which were proven to raise the lethal risk at animal models.

In addition, humans have to be social, and being isolated can be harmful for our health. The level of oxytocin is important for trusting, social relating and establishing emotional relationships.

Mother-Infant Relationship

During Pregnancy

The mother-infant relationship releases big amount of oxytocin which have positive effect on social behaviors. Hugging and breastfeeding with mother’s milk can increase the level of oxytocin in the mother and in the infant as well.  Thus the relationship only gets stronger.

Insufficient hugging and abnormal bonding can negatively affect the child’s confidence and capability to connect with others, because the social factors depend from the oxytocin levels in the body. For example, shocking events during pregnancy are usually connected with lack of attitude in the phase of adulthood. This was done on rats, where prenatally stressed mothers were connected with offspring and the level of anxiety was increased.

After the childbirth

Once the child is born, positive social relations and bonding with the mother are very important for adequate social and emotional development and it is also related with the level of stress. The level of oxytocin in the parents of children that are 4 months old are connected with childs’ level of relating with their parents and larger level of oxytocin in mother are connected with raised mother-infant relation. Hugging the child can cause great amount of oxytocin which is crucial in the process of healthy social development like relations with the parents and the child, stress release and decreasing the risk of social deficit in the later phase of life.

Finally, when you hug your partner, your children or someone else, you are not showing them just love, but you are boosting their level of oxytocin and you improve their health.

Source > seizepositivity.com

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Connecting with your family, especially with your kids, is essential for human interaction. It allows us to have secure relationship and different physical health benefits. However, have you heard that these positive effects can happen on a biological level too? What is Oxytocin? Sir Henry Dale discovered the hormone oxytocin in...