In order to have good physical, but also emotional development, we as humans need to feel and give love as well as affection. The best thing to feel real love is hugging someone you love or receiving a hug.
What Is Oxytocin And What Is Its Role?
Our pituitary gland secretes oxytocin, but it’s produced in the hypothalamus. It is a neurotransmitter and a hormone. It was first scientifically identified in 1906. It is necessary for the whole process of childbirth in mammals, because it stimulates the lactation and the uterine contractions. It has a greater role which is to make people bond and interact better. Its other name is ‘the love hormone’.
Both sexes share this hormone. It even makes the reproductive process more stimulating. It has a stimulating effect on the reward and pleasure centers, so it makes social bonding better.
Oxytocin present in our brain helps us develop feelings of trust that we know is very important for a relationship that is personal.
Humans Are Known To Be Social Animals
Our human survival needs to include social interaction as well as inclusion. We know what happens to people who are socially isolated. Depression appears which leads to serious diseases and even death.
Isn’t it great how the neurobiological mechanisms of attachment and love form a great circle: through falling in love, then having a baby and showing it affection and love. The process is continued with the child.
Embryonic brain development needs oxytocin in order to be alright. The blood vessels in our pituitary gland are formed with the help of oxytocin. This gland controls important physiological processes like: reproduction, growth and stress.
Why Is Parental Bonding Important?
We have already mentioned that in order for the personal relationships between people as well as other mammals to be good, trust needs to be present so that everyone can feel secure.
Destructive and addictive behaviors will be easily eliminated if we have this as our basis. We’ll also manage stress better. It’s also very important for the bond between a child and its parents.
During the process of pregnancy, oxytocin is produced in high levels by a woman’s brain so that labor can be stimulated. When an infant is born, the level of oxytocin is higher in it than in its mother.
When oxytocin is combined with a hormone called prolactin, it helps the mother stimulate production of milk so that she can breastfeed her baby. During the period of nursing, the levels of oxytocin are high for the baby as well as for the mother.
It’s a pretty amazing chemical reaction!
Newborn babies are the ones that stimulate milk flow also by using their hands, so the mother can release milk better.
Instinctual Parent-Child Bond
When the interaction between a baby and its parents is positive, it means that their levels of oxytocin are certainly increased, according to a study. Also, people who are very close to their parents or their partners have increased levels of oxytocin which means that the love hormone is spread well and the social interaction is positive!
In mothers who have low levels of oxytocin, studies show negative interaction with their children and poor parenting skills.
We Can’t Replace Oxytocin
When the levels of oxytocin are increased and released through the processes of breastfeeding, childbirth, pregnancy and sexual activity, the relationships between these people are meaningful and full of trust. Other hormones also release. It’s natural for a parent to hug their baby. This instinct makes your child feel safe and you feel good and full of love.
Hugging also helps us form strong and affectionate bonds with other people we meet in our life.
We need love in order to survive. We need to receive it and we need to give it, so don’t avoid hugging! Hugs are the best ways to show love and affection, so make sure you spread them all around you!