Touch and oxytocin – helping the brain grow

Oxytocin is the hormone of love and comfort.  It is mainly generated through human contact and is the “cuddle hormone” that makes the mother want to hug and be close to her baby, strengthening the mother-baby bond.  Connecting with people we care about increases our oxytocin levels.

If a mother is relaxed and contented, and feeling supported and loved by the people in her life, this increases the hormone oxytocin, and she will feel enveloped in a peaceful, pleasurable and loving state.  Oxytocin also nourishes the baby’s brain and helps it to grow new areas (in the opposite way to the stress hormone cortisol, which destroys them) and it increases the mother’s brain capacity.

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