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Presentation Information

Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg

How Oxytocin Induces Behavioral and Physiological Adaptations That Promote Growth, Bonding, and Biological Behaviours

  • Speaker: Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg , M.D., Ph.D.
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, .1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU

Oxytocin, which is produced in the hypothalalmus, is released into the circulation from the posterior pituitary to induce uterine contractions and milk ejection during labor and breastfeeding. In addition oxytocin is released from oxytocin containing nerves, which project to important regulatory areas within the brain. In this way oxytocin, induces behavioral and physiological adaptations in the mother, which are consistent with motherhood. It facilitates and promotes interaction with the infant by e.g. reducing anxiety, by inducing calm and by increasing interaction with and bonding to the infant. It facilitates milk production by enhancing the release of prolactin, by inducing energy saving anti-stress effects such as lowering of blood pressure and cortisol levels. It also optimizes gastrointestinal function and metabolism to the needs of lactation. The expressions of these effects are promoted by skin-to-skin contact and by a familiar and supportive environment during birth and breastfeeding, but are blunted or even reversed into a negative effect patterns if the mothers feel unsafe or threatened. Some medical interventions during birth may also interfere with the development of the oxytocin linked adaptations.

Live Presentation Schedule

Nov 19, 2013