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What Happens In A Mother's Brain When Her Baby Cries?

No one can love a baby as much as mommy does. As a result, a mother is the primary caregiver to the baby, and the baby too attaches a lot of love, comfort and safety to their mother. A mother always knows what her baby needs, and when she doesn’t, the baby has the ability to cry, demanding what they want.

When your baby cries, it is usually because of hunger, tiredness, discomfort, irritation, boredom, colic or fear. Crying helps your baby tell you that he or she needs you to take care of him or her. But a baby’s crying has certain effects on the mother too. Did you know that a baby’s cries can cause certain brain-related changes?

Here’s what happens to you every time your little one cries:

As a new mom, your body has higher levels of the hormone oxytocin than women who are not mothers. Oxytocin is also called the ‘motherhood hormone’ as it plays a role in your delivery, and is also related to why you love your baby the most. The presence of this hormone in your bloodstream makes your brain more sensitive to your baby’s cries, and also directs you to take care of your baby - instinctually!

In other words, the area in your brain that is related to hearing becomes more receptive and reactive to your baby’s cries. So when your baby cries, your brain tells you that they need to be taken care of. It creates a sense of urgency in your brain, which is why you immediately rush to your baby’s side and hold them or talk to them.

Fun Fact? On average, moms take only 5 seconds once a baby cries before they pick up and hold or talk to their baby. And this is because of the presence of oxytocin.

What If I’m Asleep When My Baby Cries?

This is another concern that moms have - whether they will hear and wake up to their baby’s cries at night. You too may worry about this, because your concern is that you don’t want to let your baby cry for too long.

But due to oxytocin, you can put this concern aside too. Your brain will definitely wake you up when your baby cries and you’ll be up and taking care of your baby before you even know it. The sound of your baby’s cries cause a sense of alertness in your brain areas, and this will wake you up.

What Else Happens When Babies Cry?

Another common experience some women report is that the sound of baby’s cries can make them lactate automatically. This can happen to both, pregnant women and new moms. Even if it isn’t your own baby that’s crying, you are likely to lactate because of your body’s instinct to feed your little one that is activated when they cry.

Babies always cry with reason. It helps them demand for things that will help them survive - whether it is food, or just some comfort.

Do you also feel urgency and alertness when your baby cries? Now you know why! Do let other moms also know about these fun facts! And don’t worry - even if you think you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to automatically be a great mom!

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Dear Mommy,

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