Oxytocin is a neuropeptide hormone released by the posterior pituitary gland in the brain. It is also called the ‘Cuddle Hormone’ or the ‘Love Hormone’ since oxytocin is closely related to social bonding, intimate relationships, and the feeling of warmth and love. It basically makes you feel good about the place or the person you are with. The release of oxytocin can reduce stress levels and hence acts as an anti-anxiety drug as well. Intimacy with your partner, cuddling, kissing, and pregnancy are some of the times when oxytocin is triggered. Apart from being naturally triggered, there are also methods one can stimulate it for his/ her well-being.
Effects of Oxytocin in Pregnancy and Childbirth
Oxytocin plays a key role in several stages of pregnancy and childbirth. The love hormone that is produced during pregnancy stimulates the bonding between a mother and her child, says research.
Another important use of oxytocin is that it promotes uterine contractions and promotes labor. Sometimes, oxytocin injections are given to increase contractions during labor and in other cases, it is also used to stop bleeding after childbirth. Similarly, Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for the uterus to contract after delivery.
It is fascinating to see how a hormone can have so many uses. Breast milk production is also closely related to the release of oxytocin. Skin-to-skin contact after delivery triggers oxytocin which in turn helps your body to secrete breast milk. Learn the benefits of breastfeeding.
Effects of Oxytocin in Fatherly Bonding
The goodness of the release of oxytocin is evident in men as well. A study revealed this love hormone is responsible for enhancing the bonding between dads and their kids. Not just this, it helps men in building relationships and social bonding.
Interesting facts about Oxytocin
- Yoga and meditation can help release oxytocin.
- Oxytocin or the love hormone is not only released in humans but also in all mammals.
- Stress hormones can block the release of oxytocin.
- Oxytocin not only reduces blood pressure but can also increase it.
- The love hormone fastens wound healing.
- Oxytocin nasal sprays are used in psychiatric treatments as sprays reach the brain faster than injections.