Hormones

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Hormones play a huge role in pregnancy and nursing—and while they help sustain both of those things, they can also create challenges. We asked real couples how they worked together to manage the hormonal highs and lows.

Facts about hormones

  • Hormones bond! After giving birth, as you start to lactate, the level of the powerful hormone oxytocin starts to rise—which creates a feeling of euphoria and helps develop a strong bond with baby. This hormone surge is responsible for milk “letting down” and helps the uterus to contract following birth.

  • Your baby releases your hormones! Your baby's cry and touch, nipple stimulation, and sucking all can trigger hormone release.

  • Hormones are in your milk. Breast milk contains hormones, antibodies, and other protective factors that help babies fight infection and become stronger.

  • Hormones can lead to “baby blues.” After your baby is born, some hormone levels elevated during pregnancy, will drop. That, paired with the stress of a new baby and lack of sleep, may make some moms feel down. Self-care and support from your family and friends can help. Contact your doctor if you are feeling overwhelmed, feel like you are unable to care for your infant, or if you fear you may harm yourself or your infant, so you can work on a plan to get you feeling better!