Navigation Links
Level of oxytocin in pregnant women predicts mother-child bond
Date:10/15/2007

Humans are hard-wired to form enduring bonds with others. One of the primary bonds across the mammalian species is the mother-infant bond. Evolutionarily speaking, it is in a mothers best interest to foster the well-being of her child; however, some mothers just seem a bit more maternal than others do. Now, new research points to a hormone that predicts the level of bonding between mother and child.

In animals, oxytocin, dubbed the hormone of love and bonding, is critically important for the development of parenting, is elicited during sexual intercourse, and is involved in maintaining close relationships. Animals with no oxytocin exhibit slower pup retrieval and less licking and self-grooming. These findings implicate oxytocin in the bonding process, but little research has been done on this relationship in humans.

Ruth Feldman, psychology professor at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, conducted the first study to demonstrate the links between oxytocin and bonding in human mothers. Feldman and colleagues measured plasma oxytocin from sixty-two pregnant women during their first trimester, third trimester, and the first postpartum month.

They also observed the mother and child interact, defining the level of attachment along four aspects: gaze, affect, touch, and vocalization. Stronger attachment would mean that the mother focused her gaze mostly on the child, exhibited a positive energy towards the child, maintained constant affectionate and stimulating touch with the child, used a motherese speech with the child, and these species-typical maternal behaviors were adapted to the infant's alert state.

After the mothers completed an extensive survey and an interview on their bond-related thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, the researchers computed the link between levels of oxytocin and bonding.

The results are fascinating. Initial levels of oxytocin at the first trimester predicted bonding behavior. Therefore, mothers with a high level of the hormone at the beginning of the pregnancy engaged in more of the aforementioned bonding behaviors after birth.

Additionally, mothers who had higher levels of oxytocin across the pregnancy and the postpartum month also reported more behaviors that support the formation of an exclusive relationship (i.e. singing a special song to the infant, or bathing and feeding them in a special way). These mothers were also more preoccupied by thoughts of checking on the infant, the infants safety when they are not around, and the infants future.

This study, which appears in the November issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that women with higher levels of oxytocin during their first trimester are primed to the formation of an exclusive bond with their infants. Oxytocin seems to be preparing mothers to engage in bonding behaviors. The findings also show that oxytocin is related to the mental, as well as the behavioral, aspect of bonding. More generally, this study confirms that there is a cross-species continuity in mechanisms that underlie species-specific expressions of bonding.


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine West
cwest@psychologicalscience.org
202-783-2077
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Virus Level could Predict Cervical Cancer Risk
2. Lead levels in disturbed soil post-Katrina unsafe
3. Pump up the Thiamine levels after gastric surgery
4. FDA recommends new Lead level in candies
5. Low testosterone levels lead to eating disorders
6. Genetics and cholesterol levels
7. Decrease in testosterone levels lead to Alzheimers
8. Levels Of Blood Proteins May Help Heart Disease Care
9. Breast cancer risk doubles by high sex hormone levels
10. Elevated Ozone Levels Hurt Sperm Count
11. Elevating Manganese Levels hold back HIV
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Greener Hydroponics is now offering a ... frequently used by professional organic farmers and nurseries according to Sales Manager Joe Steele ... fabric pots. Our goal is to offer wholesale level pricing and ultra-fast shipping for ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Illinois (PRWEB) , ... April ... ... the leading provider of enterprise Data Center Infrastructure Management solutions, announces today ... focuses on feature enhancements in the area of capacity management and optimization, ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... ... reminds us that May is National Stroke Awareness Month. According to the Centers for ... the United States; someone has one every 40 seconds. Annually, almost 800,000 strokes occur ... A stroke is when blood flow to the brain is blocked or when a ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... A first-time look at workers’ compensation claims in ... Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) announced, and that costs per claim were ... Kentucky, 16th Edition , found that indemnity costs per claim and benefit delivery expenses ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... it will demonstrate its leading secure mobility workstation suite, SentinelSecure™, at MobileIron’s 6th ... Hilton Union Square, this will be MobileIron’s 6th Mobile First Conference and will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016  The blood testing market ... dollars, according to Kalorama Information and The Freedonia Group ... and nucleic acid testing.  The healthcare research firm said ... in developing blood collection stations and in improving testing ... Kalorama Information,s report, Blood Testing Market in ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016   Acsis , a leading ... leading IT market research and advisory firm IDC has ... IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Pharmaceutical Track and Trace Software 2016 ... provides an assessment of the capabilities and business strategies ... software market. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160427/360791LOGO ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , Schweiz, April 27, 2016 ... Sachs CEO Forums in Zürich gab Strekin ... führenden Wirkstoffkandidaten STR001 zur Erhaltung des Resthörvermögens ... wurde, bekannt. Für die umfassende Phase-II-Doppelblindstudie mit ... Frankreich angeworben. STR001 wird während der Operation ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: