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Kinsey research: Postpartum women less stressed by threats unrelated to the baby
Date:12/10/2012

eased in greater amounts during and after childbirth, likely plays a role in these changes, but how was not clear to the researchers. Earlier research has shown that oxytocin can play a powerful role in a healthy mother's unique state of mind by providing a calming effect when mothers breastfeed and by heightening interest in baby-related threats.

The IU study involved 29 postpartum women and 30 women who had never borne children. Participants were assigned to either the placebo or oxytocin nasal spray group in a double-blind procedure, meaning that neither the study participants nor researchers knew who received the hormone or placebo. The average age of the women was 27.

To gauge the women's responses, the researchers used brain imaging, and questionnaires to learn of the women's subjective responses, and they measured the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the women's urine.

The postpartum women had children 1 to 6 months old, so it is unknown how long the reduced stress reaction lasts.


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Contact: Jennifer Bass
jbass@indiana.edu
812-855-7686
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

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