Is there a link between postpartum depression and the 'love hormone'?

May 10, 2013
Is there a link between postpartum depression and the

UNC researchers are launching a 5-year study aimed at understanding the role of oxytocin in postpartum depression and bonding between mothers and babies.

Is there a link with postpartum depression and , which is sometimes called the "love hormone"?

Three researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine are starting a 5-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that's aimed at understanding the role of oxytocin in postpartum depression and bonding between mothers and babies.

The new 5-year study is based on a smaller study published recently in the Journal of Women's Health.

"The is that breastfeeding reduces postpartum depression—yet we see tremendous overlap between moms who struggle with breastfeeding and moms who have postpartum depression or ," said Alison Stuebe, MD, first author of the pilot study and assistant professor in UNC's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is also assistant professor in the Department of in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

"In this study, we measured levels of oxytocin, the 'love hormone', in mothers with mild anxiety or depression and in normal controls. The mothers who were more anxious had lower oxytocin levels during breastfeeding. We can't tell from this study whether feeling anxious reduces oxytocin, or whether not having enough oxytocin causes anxiety, but the results suggest that the two problems are connected. It may be that a problem with oxytocin both contributes to postpartum and makes breastfeeding less enjoyable," Stuebe said.

Explore further: Mothers with breastfeeding difficulties more likely to suffer postpartum depression

More information: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23586800

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RobertKarlStonjek
not rated yet May 11, 2013
The association between love and oxytocin is entirely flawed.

Firstly, oxytocin level can rise due to happiness unrelated to love. Loving feelings can occur with happiness eg when the love is unrequited, when the loved one is far away and unreachable (depressive feelings may occur) when one's spouse, child or pet has died. Do you have warm happy oxytocin drenched feelings at the funeral of your husband or wife? And yet who would challenge a person's love at that time.

More childishness on the part of some scientists who would grasp onto any material change that can be measured even if the bulk of the phenomena, in this case Love, must be discarded for the theory to be correct...
RobertKarlStonjek
not rated yet Jun 01, 2013
Should be "Loving feelings can occur withOUT happiness eg

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