OOOOOO I love me some Oxytocin! Why? Because it is our love hormone, that hormone that makes us feel all gooey, relaxed, blissed out, in the moment, soft, at peace – the list goes on!! This hormone also releases the milk if we are breastfeeding so yes it's a pretty important hormone to have lots of in those early months!
There are also some pretty cool benefits to Oxytocin as well:
1. Helps us tolerate boredom
2. Makes us more relaxed
3. Makes us more empathetic
4. Aids digestion
5. Releases the breast milk
6. Helps pain relief.
When we look at those benefits it makes sense why we need and have lots of it when we are a new mother. But did you know that YOU can create Oxytocin?
Oxytocin is not just something we get during birth and in the golden hour afterwards we can create our own Oxytocin boosters whenever we need! How? By doing something that makes us feel good, happy or relaxed. Oxytocin lasts about 90 seconds, so it is constantly changing so when we do something that brings us happiness we get an Oxytocin rush!
As new mothers we need Oxytocin, here are some simple and effective things we can do to boost Oxytocin:
1. Create an oxytocin boosting self-care plan –
Write a list of all the things that make you feel happy from the inside out e.g having a bath, having a cup of tea, laughing with a friend, massage, exercise, eating comfort food.
Choose three things from your list that are quick and easy (e.g having a cup of tea) and put them up on the fridge and do one of these things EVERYDAY, maybe even more than once
Choose three things from your list that take a little bit more time and planning (e.g meeting a friend for coffee) and do one of these things every week
2. Stay warm – get the warm socks on and snuggly jumpers out because when we are warm we are more relaxed = Oxytocin Boost
3. Smell and hug a loved one – just thinking about this I get an Oxytocin boost! Make sure you melt into that hug and really take a big breath in and totally let go!
4. Look into baby’s eyes and breathe – this is a great one when feeding baby. If you are breast feeding getting an Oxytocin boost from this will help your milk flow!
Remember, Oxytocin is not just a hormone we experience in labour, it is a hormone we can boost throughout our whole lives by doing things we love!