Wether we realize it or not we all love oxytocin. Oxytocin is one of the most fascinating aspects of human biology, and I think you will agree with me when you learn more about it!
Women have more oxytocin receptors in their brain than men.
Women have more oxytocin receptors in their brain than men. We mostly experience oxytocin in the same ways (with some exceptions). Women just experience much more of it.
Oxytocin is peaceful.
Oxytocin helps us rest. That is why our bodies produce oxytocin when we are sleeping, feeling peaceful or calm. Oxytocin helps us fall asleep and also helps us have a deep and restful asleep. It can also help us feel peaceful and calm when things are chaotic around us, to protect us.
Oxytocin eases pain and stress.
Oxytocin also steps in when our bodies most need it. When we are in pain or danger oxytocin steps in to ease pain, help us stay focused and help pull our minds away from risks. Also when a human exhibits super human strength and confidence under pressure, oxytocin is one of the things that does that! And when a mom laughs during arduous labor, that’s oxytocin helping her stay positive and forward thinking.
Oxytocin makes babies.
Yes, yes I know mommies and daddies who love each other very much make babies. but our brains release oxytocin when we hug, kiss, have sex, and when we orgasm. Oxytocin also steadily increases from conception to birth. Understanding that Oxytocin aids in connection and bonding… we realize that it is biological and physiological evidence of love.
Oxytocin makes birth powerful because it is one of the things that brings a mother to the point of power that she couldn’t reach at any other point in her life. Oxytocin brings on labor and makes it increasingly stronger to the point of birth. And once birth takes place a bigger wave than before crashes over mom’s body to ease pain, build a bond with baby, heal, and calm mom as she adjust to the new life.
Oxytocin doesn’t just make and bring babies into the world, it also helps feed them. As our babies are brought to our chests and we make skin to skin contact, our bodies release even more oxytocin. This helps guide mom’s instincts and encourages milk ejection so that baby can get that liquid gold! Once baby is latched the breasts tell the brain to release even more oxytocin to help the uterus clamp off the bleeding and shrink back to its original size (a process that will take some time!).
Oxytocin helps us grow
Oxytocin is what scientists call “fertilizer” for the brain. A baby’s brain is a learning machine but when it has plenty of oxytocin it is a learning super computer! And when we give our babies love and attention it increases the amount of oxytocin in their brains and ours. And that helps us cope with parenting stresses, exhaustion, healing and more!
Oxytocin helps us transition
Oxytocin helps trigger and sustain puberty especially in young girls. And Oxytocin begins lessening as we go through menopause, which only makes me think that we need to flood our menopausal and postmenopausal women with hugs and love! Studies show that supplemental oxytocin can be helpful in reducing some uncomfortable menopausal symptoms.
Oxytocin is always there
As you can see oxytocin is always there. From the time we are conceived and through every stage of life. I believe we likely also release it in death, because it’s released at every other challenge in our life. Oxytocin is the evidence of God’s love in biology. His fingerprint helping us, healing us, and guiding us through our life.
So when it was time for me to choose my first birth related tattoo, of course I had to choose oxytocin.