Oxytocin levels in fathers' brains increase as much as mothers in the first months after a child is born.
Dr. Gordon and colleagues evaluated 160 parents after the birth of their first child by measuring each parents' oxytocin levels at 6 weeks and 6 months.
At both time-points, fathers' oxytocin levels were not different from levels observed in mothers.
Although oxytocin release is stimulated by birth and lactation in mothers, it appears that other aspects of parenthood serve to stimulate oxytocin release in fathers.
Oxytocin is known to contribute to the social bonding that occurs between lovers, friends, and colleagues and also plays an important role in birth and maternal behavior.