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“Dad” hormones help men bond with their babies

Levels of “fatherhood” hormones rise in new dads found to help them connect with their newborn babies

Posted: 16 August 2010
by Kimberley Smith

New dads’ patience, empathy and ability to bond with their babies as helped by two hormones commonly found in new mums. A new study has linked the rise in hormones prolactin and oxytocin to the behavior shown by new dads as they develop a relationship with their baby.

“These hormones seem to have a powerful role in helping men bond with their newly-born children,” said Professor Ruth Feldman, who worked on the study.

Hormone levels and how well dads played with their children were compared. Those with higher hormone levels bonded more easily than those with lower levels. Researchers have suggested that this helps change the way men think to enable them to be better dads.

“This seems to be evolution’s way of helping men turn into good parents as soon as they have a baby,” concluded Professor Ruth.

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