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The surprising reaction in the mother's brain to the baby's smell


The cosmetic industry spends huge amounts of money to cover body odors that we generally perceive as negative and unpleasant, yet we forget that many smells are necessary and very positive.

For example, we bathe the baby with a pleasant-smelling gel and moisturize it with a cream that also has a perfume that we like. But, in this process we are covering one of the smells that are most pleasant to mothers and that arouse the most stimuli in them: the smell of their baby. What's more, a recent study highlights that the mother's brain reacts in such a way to the baby's smell that it even releases dopamine, known as the pleasure or addiction hormone.

The journal Frontiers in Psychology published an interesting study on the impact of baby scent on the mother's brain.

To prove this, the following experiment was carried out: 30 healthy, non-smoking women were taken as a sample and the impact that the baby's smell had on their brain activity was contrasted. Of these 30 women, 15 women had given birth for the first time and were subjected to the stimulation of the smell of the 2-day-old baby through a cotton bodysuit that had been in contact with him. The other 15 women had not been mothers and were subjected to the same test. What was demonstrated? What 2-day-old newborns' body odors trigger an activation in reward-related areas of the brainregardless of whether the woman had had a baby or not. What's more, dopamine levels kicked in.

“Participating women, regardless of maternal status, demonstrated greater processing in neostriated areas, suggesting that the body odor of a 2-day-old newborn can transmit signals that can motivate mothers or non-mothers to care for a baby not known. " Clarifies the study.

This research suggests several ideas:

- Certain body odors could act as a enhancer of the bond between mother and child.

- The body odor of a baby is capable of acting on a woman, whether she has given birth or not, awakening in her the instinct to care for and protect the baby.

- The smell of the newborn causes a state of placidity and happiness in the mother necessary for the survival of the baby. The release of dopamine in the brain causes mothers to enjoy a sensation similar to that achieved with the use of some drugs such as cocaine.

- This sensation that is caused naturally and not chemically makes the mother don't tire of your baby even when nights and days have passed without rest.

The smell is sensation, it is memory, it is memory, it is pleasure and displeasure. Smell is one of the most primary senses in the human being.

Body odor is a wide range of volatile and non-volatile compounds that include information as disparate as gender identity, age, physiological state, stress, diseases ...

Each person's smell is unique, it is like a fingerprint and largely reflects what we eat. The smell is, in short, a form of ancestral communication that is used between human beings and even animals.

Human beings obtain most of our information through the sense of sight and hearing, however, smell, almost without realizing it, transmits not only data, but also sensations and emotions.

Taking back the smell of babies, several studies confirm that smell is very important for both mothers and their babies who are able to distinguish maternal odors. It is a necessary and beneficial exchange of signals between the two, and it goes far beyond how good babies smell.

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