I have been reading a bit about the oxytocin hormone recently. I don’t really know why, I just have. I didn’t really know anything about oxytocin until I went to NCT classes before having my son and the teacher told us about the oxytocin hormone and its role during childbirth.
It turns out that oxytocin isn’t just important during childbirth. You could argue that the oxytocin hormone makes the world go round. I want to be ‘hormonal’ if that hormone is oxytocin and here’s why:
Oxytocin plays an important role in orgasm and sexual arousal: Oxytocin circulates at higher levels during orgasm in both men and women.
But…get this; oxytocin prefers masturbation! Apparently, oxytocin levels are even higher with orgasm attained through self-stimulation and the higher oxytocin levels last for several minutes. (Cool! Maybe being a single mum isn’t going to be so bad after all)
Oxytocin facilitates childbirth: Oxytocin causes contractions during labour therefore facilitating childbirth. Maternity wards routinely use synthetic oxytocin to kick-start the birth process and keep it moving.
Oxytocin helps maternal bonding: This hormone is probably the reason why I love my baby so much!
Oxytocin stimulates lactation: In lactating mothers, oxytocin apparently causes the ‘let down’ reflex. Once you’ve got used to the first few weeks of pain during breastfeeding, the ‘let down’ feels great…almost like an orgasm. That’s all down to the good old oxytocin hormone.
Oxytocin helps you heal and lose weight after childbirth: Oxytocin release during breastfeeding causes mild contractions during the first few weeks of lactation. This can sometimes feel a little painful, but it helps your uterus to clot and heal the area where the placenta has detached.
Oxytocin makes me feel warm, fuzzy and relaxed. Without this hormone I probably wouldn’t be a mother, and I certainly wouldn’t be a happy one!