Vaginal Delivery Releases Oxytocin

Delivering a baby vaginally releases maternal behavior hormone.


Delivering a baby vaginally triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone known to influence maternal behavior in animals. Now a study shows that a human mom's brain reacts more strongly to her baby's needs if she's had a vaginal birth.

Researchers performed brain scans on women two to four weeks after delivery. When their babies cried, the mothers who'd given birth vaginally showed significantly more responsiveness in brain regions regulating emotion and motivation compared to moms who'd had a C-section. The finding could help moms who have trouble bonding with their baby.

Looking for more info about your labor & delivery? You'll find advice and information in the articles below:

Fear Factor If you dread delivery, here's what you can do to overcome your anxiety and have a better birth experience.

40 Weeks Our step-by-step timeline and checklist for navigating your pregnancy

What to Pack for the Hospital The 10 must-have items you'll want to be sure to pack.

Real Life Stories: Home Births More and more women are defying convention and doctors' guidelines and choosing to have their babies at home. Here, three women talk about the ups and downs of delivering their way.

The Truth About Induction Think you want to have labor induced? Think again. If it's too early, it might be a bad idea.

Want A Shorter Labor and A Healthier Baby? Going into labor spontaneously protects both you and your newborn.