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Showing posts with label infancy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label infancy. Show all posts

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Chemical Soup Called LOVE

Whether or not your first days as a parent were spent breastfeeding on the couch watching Oprah, like me or not,  psychologists now understand that the bonding between a parent and child (or caregiver and child) occurs in a myriad of ways.  The important thing is that bonding happens!  Without developing the ability to care about ourselves and each other…we rarely possess the kind of heroic heart we need to thrive in life.   

Good news from psychoneurobiology research:  the underlying processes associated with bonding now reassures parents that skin-to-skin contact is also one of the primary triggers for oxytocin’s release. Oxytocin being the stock for the chemical soup that is parental love.  Simply holding our child triggers a release of love-inducing chemicals (opiods, for example—those pleasure-giving, rewarding neurochemicals that calm us, relieve pain, and generally reward life-sustaining behaviors).

Friday, March 4, 2011

Why Attachment is so Important in Learning Courage

As a mom to newborn E. (my now 13 year-old son), I was ripe with the maternal love hormones prolactin and oxytocin.  It's one of the reasons new parents seem a bit dopey.  Biochemicals like oxytocin, prolactin, and vasopressin, in particular, make maternal and paternal bonding possible.  We are all, it turns out, wired for connection.  In those early days with E. it didn’t really matter to me that there were specific centers of my brain, and highly elaborate neural mechanisms activated to ensure my maternal love, recognition of my baby, and the kind of protectiveness that promotes secure attachment.  I was either blissfully oblivious or too darn tired to notice.  Read on for some "good news!"