10 ways oxytocin helps you be a great mom

Forget complicated parenting techniques. It turns out that the one thing you need to be a really amazing mom is something your brain makes all the time: oxytocin, the love hormone. By Lisa Witepski

10 ways oxytocin helps you be a great mom

We all want our kids to be happy, smart and well adjusted. It might sound like a tall order, but you already have one of the key tools you need: oxytocin.

Often called the cuddle chemical, the great thing about oxytocin is that you already have a good store. One of the first things your brain does to prepare you for motherhood is to give you an oxytocin surge during the first trimester of pregnancy. Breastfeeding also gets levels on the rise.

ALSO SEE: 8 ways your body changes during pregnancy

Other good news is that the more you give, the more oxytocin you get. Hug your babies, and your brain (and theirs) will be rewarded by a giant surge of oxytocin. Connect with your husband, and you’ll get another boost. Chatting and laughing with a friend fills your tank, and even your yoga workout or run can help you out.

Why is that a good thing? Because oxytocin doesn’t just give you the feels. Research has shown that it has a critical impact on the way our kids grow and develop, too.

Here are 10 ways oxytocin can help you to be a great mom

It can stimulate the brain

According to parentingforbrain.com, kids who receive tactile stimulation (or hugs, in plain English), score higher on developmental assessments.

It promotes kidsgrowth

Interestingly, an increase in oxytocin is accompanied by a rise in growth hormones in children.

It keeps kids healthy

Your natural reaction to cuddle a sick child has benefits: oxytocin flicks the immune system’s “on switch”.

ALSO SEE: 7 tips to boost your childs immune system

It promotes healing

Again, there’s a reason you reach out for your child the moment you realise their fall has resulted in a graze: oxytocin promotes healing by lowering plasma levels.

Stop tantrums, fast!

Turns out there is a magic bullet for ending that tantrum: the oxytocin surge from a hug can help a child regulate their emotions by lowering stress and anxiety.

ALSO SEE: 8 clever hacks to diffuse your toddlers tantrum

It boosts resilience

One of the most important lessons we can learn is how to bounce back – and here, again, is where oxytocin’s power to reduce stress is invaluable. When you can see that your child is facing a hard time and battling to deal with the ensuing emotions, don’t hold back on the cuddles.

It also boosts happiness

It’s simple, really: kids who get lots of hugs are generally happier.

It makes children feels more secure

You may have noticed how much closer you feel to your husband emotionally after you’ve been physically intimate. The same goes for your children: a hugging habit can really strengthen your relationship.

It promotes healthy social behaviour

In fact, the hormone is administered to children on the autistic spectrum to reduce symptoms.

ALSO SEE: How to spot the early warning signs of Autism

It can also reduce cravings

Stop that sugar habit with a hug.


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