I’m Shelby Cullinan with today’s health news.
The birth of a baby can trigger a jumble of powerful emotions. For some women, however,
it can also have a dark side. But science may now finally be shedding light on the risks
behind postpartum depression. A new study found that oxytocin — sometimes known as
“the love hormone” — may be responsible for postpartum depression when the mother
has low levels of it. The hormone oxytocin is released in the brain during pleasurable
activities, such as falling in love and maternal bonding. Women who had oxytocin receptor blood
markers were nearly three times as likely to develop PPD.According to the study team,
these blood markers may reduce the production of the oxytocin receptor gene. This may make
a mother less sensitive to the benefits of oxytocin, such as promoting emotional wellbeing
and a healthy mother-infant interaction.