From the moment a mother finds herself pregnant, the bond with the baby inside of her is one of the strongest things there could be; the infant is literally a part of her. During the end of her pregnancy, her oxytocin levels multiply dramatically and they promote maternal behavior.
During birth, there’s a giant surge of oxytocin while the baby is passing through the birth canal for both mother and child. These surges are especially important because they give the baby that final burst of antibodies and it causes a mother to become familiar with her newborn’s unique odor and prefer it above all other baby odors.
The baby’s own imprint of his mother’s scent consists of the infant’s ability to immediately find and prefer his mother’s nipple thanks to the flood of oxytocin that allows the first breastfeeding to feel natural. In the future, the baby will be comforted by his mother’s odor.
Beyond birth and breastfeeding, oxytocin continues to play a huge role in parent-child bonding. This hormone continues being produced by holding the baby, evoking a feeling of contentment, calmness, and well being in the baby. With the parent (mother or father) cuddles with the little one causes the person to be more caring, more eager to please others, to become more sensitive of others’ feelings and to recognize nonverbal cues more readily.
Prolonged high oxytocin in the mother, father, or the baby also promotes lower blood pressure and reduced heart rate as well as certain kinds of artery repair, which lead to reduced lifelong risk of heart disease.
So for those expecting parents or those who already welcomed home the little one, the best advice is to hold your child and shower him or her with kisses and hugs. This is crucial for bonding and inducing that feeling of safety and well being with your baby.
Basically, in the birth of your child, oxytocin makes an appearance to ensure the baby has love and care from the people he or she automatically recognizes as the most trustful people in the world.