Men are having pregnancy blues, they are having post partum depression, and they are even having sympathetic pregnancies! And here’s another one: new fathers are also producing some of the same hormones that new mothers do.
New fathers produce oxytocin or the ‘cuddle hormone’ according to new research, which is the same hormone that women produce during labor. Men who have just become fathers are also seen to produce the hormone prolactin, which is what helps new mothers manufacture breast milk.
Oxytocin and Prolactin help women bond with their new babies, and now apparently they do the same for the father as well. According to Researcher Ruth Feldman, this could be the way that evolution helps men become better parents; by helping them bond with their newborn babies. First borns were seen to, in a sense “rewire men’s brains” after the arrival of the baby, making them more empathetic, it is thought.
In the study, men who were seen to be playing with and cuddling their newborn babies revealed that there is a clear link between hormone levels and the new father’s ability to bond and communicate with their babies. This hormonal phenomenon could go some way to explain the fact that many men seem to become reformed characters soon after fatherhood.