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Oh, baby! The arrival of a newborn has a dramatic impact on the mother’s hormones—no surprise—as a rush of biochemical reactions occurs to improve attachment and attentiveness. Oxytocin, a hormone that increases the amount of love and protectiveness new mothers feel towards their offspring, has been called the “love drug” because it helps new mothers bond with their babies.   

"Maternal oxytocin levels—the system responsible for maternal-infant bonding across all mammalian species—dramatically increase during pregnancy and the postpartum [period] and the more mother is involved in childcare, the greater the increase in oxytocin," said brain researcher Ruth Feldman.

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