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Oxytocin: Hormone of Love


Today, on Valentine's Day, I couldn't help but remind you of this hormone you hear about during your maternity for your delivery or for your breastfeeding: oxytocin, also known as the hormone of Love.


Did you know: when we are in love, our body is flooded with oxytocin?


You know, that feeling of being all warm and happy when you are in love or when you make love. This feeling is produced by oxytocin. It is what creates this sense of well-being and deep connection with your partner. It strengthens our emotional bonds and makes our intimate moments even more intense. It's a bit like being wrapped in a cozy blanket of love and happiness. I had the opportunity to study the behavior through sound recordings of women giving birth during my midwifery studies. And it was incredible to discover that the sound of a woman giving birth is very similar to that of a woman making love.


Oxytocin, the hormone of the Maternity


Oxytocin is also our ally during maternity. During pregnancy, it is responsible for the uterine contractions that help us give birth. That's why, in my advice for naturally inducing labor, I often recommend my patients to make love with their partner. Regardless of the partner's sex, the most important thing is the orgasm, that is going to give a peak of oxytocin to give a start signal to your body ...if your body is ready.


It doesn't stop at childbirth.

Once the baby is here, oxytocin facilitates breastfeeding by stimulating the ejection of breast milk. Also, the bond between mom and baby is strengthened, and everyone feels good. This leads to another recommendation I give to my moms to stimulate the breasts and areola (you can even manually express your milk) to promote the start of labor.


Oxytocin: the well-being hormone


Oxytocin not only makes us fall in love and helps us be great moms. It also has an incredible effect on our overall well-being. It calms us, reduces our stress, and improves our sleep. It's a bit like it's giving us a little pat on the shoulder saying, "Hey, everything's fine, relax!" That's why you find yourself tired and sleepy during childbirth or breastfeeding. I reassure my moms who are surprised by this state of relaxation and often associate it with fatigue.


Oxytocin: the social life hormone.


As a result, this sense of well-being boosts our self-confidence and our empathy towards others. It encourages us to cooperate and create strong bonds with those around us. It's a bit like it's giving us a boost to be great friends and colleagues. This is how when moms meet, and if they breastfeed during this meeting, contact becomes easier and the exchange between them is reassuring.


When should we be careful?


Oxytocin can sometimes be a bit too enthusiastic. For example, it can cause too strong uterine contractions during childbirth, which can be difficult to manage. That's why I ask my moms not to use the electric pump without supervision, and also, we cannot use synthetic oxytocin in a Birthing center. Also, high levels of oxytocin can sometimes make us a bit too protective or possessive. This can be very anxiety-inducing for young moms.


So, on this Valentine's Day, enjoy your natural oxytocin: relax, be in love, give birth in serenity, enjoy your breastfeeding and your connection with baby, meet new people... Whatever your way of celebrating this day of love, your oxytocin stimulation is not far away...

 

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