FA­THER­HOOD AS SEEN THROUGH SCI­EN­TIFIC GLASSES!

Fa­ther­hood As Seen Through Sci­en­tific Glasses! A fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight.

Woman's Era - - Contents - Sripriya Satish

From time im­memo­rial, the mother is con­sid­ered to be the epit­ome of nur­tur­ing and pro­tec­tive­ness, as far as the baby is con­cerned. Right from the stages of preg­nancy to giv­ing birth to a baby and tak­ing care of it, the mother re­mains ir­re­place­able. Also, when seen through the eyes of sci­ence, the mother un­der­goes a se­ries of hor­monal, emo­tional and body changes. Now, where does the dad come into the pic­ture with re­spect to his bond­ing with the baby? This ar­ti­cle peeks into the fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight of the changes that take place in the fa­ther dur­ing his jour­ney through fa­ther­hood, from the point of view of sci­ence.

ANY HU­MAN BE­HAV­IOUR IS DE­FINED BY THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SE­CRE­TION OF HOR­MONES. WHEN THE FA­THER-TO-BE VI­SU­ALISES HIS ROLE IN THE CHILD-CARE AND NUR­TUR­ING, HIS TESTOS­TERONE LEV­ELS EVEN­TU­ALLY DROP.

Fluc­tu­at­ing hor­mone lev­els

Who said that the mother alone un­der­goes fluc­tu­at­ing hor­mone lev­els and body changes dur­ing prepreg­nancy? Well! Ac­cord­ing to a psy­chi­a­trist who teaches at the Uni­ver­sity of Pennsylvania, the bond­ing of the male par­ent with the foe­tus starts much be­fore the child is born. Any hu­man be­hav­iour is de­fined by the rise and fall of the se­cre­tion of hor­mones. When the fa­ther-to-be vi­su­alises his role in the child-care and nur­tur­ing, his testos­terone lev­els even­tu­ally drop. (To put it in lay­man’s terms, testos­terone is a hor­mone which con­trib­utes to the ag­gres­sive be­hav­iour in the male.) This is a proven fact in ac­cor­dance with a study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Hu­man Bi­ol­ogy in the year 2014.

Also, ac­cord­ing to an­other study pub­lished in Bi­o­log­i­cal Psy­chi­a­try in the year 2010, the new dad’s oxy­tocin lev­els shoot up when the baby is born and it can be said that this hor­mone level in him is as much as that of the mother’s. This sud­den in­crease in the “bond­ing” hor­mone (oxy­tocin) can be at­trib­uted to the ac­tive in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the baby and the new fa­ther.

Thus the rise and fall of hor­mones, which is a very com­mon phe­nom­e­non in fe­males while nur­tur­ing a baby, is also found in their male coun­ter­parts and this dis­tinct fea­ture is not very well known to most of us.

Changes in the brain

While tak­ing care of the child the fa­ther’s brain un­der­goes a se­ries of tran­si­tions wherein that part of the brain that man­ages cog­ni­tive and emo­tional senses re­ceives more neu­rons.

This, in turn, re­sults in more so­cial un­der­stand­ing and emo­tional pro­cess­ing in the new dad equiv­a­lent to that of the mom ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished in Pro­ceed­ings of the Na­tional Academy of Sciences. Their plan­ning and de­ci­sion-mak­ing skills also re­ceive a boost.

Re­strain wrong life­style

Re­searchers at the Ore­gon Uni­ver­sity USA have found out that when men em­brace fa­ther­hood, it is more likely that they will shed their neg­a­tive life­style such as con­sum­ing al­co­hol, smok­ing, drugs etc and be­come more re­spon­si­ble to­wards life.

Weight gain

Men also un­dergo phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes like weight gain when they step into fa­ther­hood. This is in ac­cor­dance to a study con­ducted by re­searchers of the North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity USA. Also, they might be struck with de­pres­sive symp­toms much like their fe­male coun­ter­parts. This may be at­trib­uted to the changes in life­style due to the new ar­rival. As the “modern dad” takes up more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in child care and nur­tur­ing, these phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes in him do not come as a sur­prise.

Woman’s Era Novem­ber (Se­cond) 2018 ●

Sen­si­tive to baby’s cries

There is noth­ing to beat the ma­ter­nal in­stinct when it comes to car­ing for the baby’s needs but dads are also not left far be­hind ac­cord­ing to a re­search con­ducted by sci­en­tists. In this study, a ma­jor­ity of the dads were able to de­tect the cries of their baby cor­rectly from amongst five of them and they did just as well as the moms do.

Well! Times are chang­ing and it is com­mend­able to note that modern dads do equally well like moms in child rear­ing and when seen through sci­en­tific glasses, a dad’s role in nur­tur­ing the child gets for­ti­fied a mul­ti­ple times! Three cheers to the most im­por­tant man of our lives! We

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