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Oxytocin before and after giving birth

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Oxytocin is also known as the “love hormone” since it’s directly related to attachment, happiness, love and orgasm. Your oxytocin levels increase at the end of pregnancy when your baby is about to be born. This hormone prepares your body for birth, making your uterus feel contractions. After your baby is born, oxytocin levels get higher in order to expel the placenta. However, there are some factors that could hold back your oxytocin levels during delivery. For example, fear, anxiety, anesthesia or anger could lower your oxytocin production, causing the need for your doctor to give you a synthetic oxytocin shot, which imitates the utilities of this hormone. This medicine called Pitocin, can also help induce birth or discharge the placenta after a cesarean delivery.

Oxytocin is also responsible for maternal behavior and attachment to the baby. Finally, oxytocin is directly related to breastfeeding, as this hormone produces the milk let-down reflex so your baby can feed.

The production of oxytocin is one of the most important hormones we have, both mentally and physically. Oxytocin helps your baby’s delivery, and also helps him survive, as oxytocin plays a role in attachment and maternal care.


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