Oxytocin is the most famous of all hormones, and it is commonly known as the hormone of love. This is so because it is released with a caress, a kiss, a hug, sex or even by eating chocolate.
This hormone plays a fundamental role during childbirth, since it is responsible for starting the contractions that will allow the cervix to dilate so that the baby can be born. What's more, its function is basic during lactation.
What is oxytocin? It is produced by the pituitary gland and, when it is present in the blood, it triggers a series of reactions in people.
This hormone has a fundamental role during lactation. When the baby sucks on the nipple, a stimulus is generated that reaches the hypothalamus and causes oxytocin to be released in the form of pulses. These pulses in turn stimulate the production of prolactin.
While prolactin is responsible for stimulating milk production, oxytocin stimulates the cells that surround the alveoli, in this way, the breast tissue contracts and the milk can exit through the mammary glands.
However, not always, this stimulation occurs when the baby is being breastfed. Some women at hearing your baby cry, hug or just thinking about him causes oxytocin to be released and thus the milk rises.
During the first few days of breastfeeding, many women feel uterine contractions, also called wrinkles. They are also caused by oxytocin and, although they can be painful, they are very important for postpartum recovery, as they help the uterus to contract and return to its pre-pregnancy size.
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