Hugging your baby is really good for your own health, says study
There is something so utterly addictive about the smell and feel of a baby, no?
Seriously; baby smell should be bottled and sold, if you ask us – and what's even more adorable? Hugging your baby is actually all sorts of good for your brain too.
Baby hugs are magical for mums.
According to research, hugging her baby has a positive impact on a mother’s emotional health, especially after childbirth. In a study published in MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, skin-to-skin contact, also known as kangaroo care, can minimize and even help prevent postpartum depression, which affects many, many women every year.
As well as improving mood and reducing anxiety, more research has shown that hugging can even change how us parents engage with our babies.
“They seem to be able to be more sensitive to their baby's cues and the babies are more responsive to the mother through the whole first three months,”explains developmental psychology professor and researcher at St. Francis Xavier University, Ann Bigelow, to Scientific American. “They're recognizing their mother earlier, so the relationship between the mother and baby is off to a facilitated start.”
If you are wondering what it is about hugs that make them so magical, researchers claim it has to do with the chemicals in our brains. You'll probably already know this, having most likely been comforted by hugs on many occasions in your life. Being touched in a kind and caring way makes our levels of cortisol—the hormone that controls stress—take a nosedive.
As well as this, when we are talking about babies, studies have shown that hugging your baby can increase the release of oxytocin—which is the hormone that brings out a feeling of closeness and connection to someone, and helps bring people closer together.
See? Hug all you want – good for you, good for baby.