What is Oxytocin?

The Magical Hormone

Also known as the Love Hormone, the benefits of having oxytocin released in your body are absolutely amazing! 

When Oxytocin is Released

This hormone is found in the brain, in the ovaries of women and in the testicles of men and is mainly released during three major events in life: during love making, during birth and while breastfeeding. But it is also released through tender, loving touch. This hormone not only plays and important role in the bonding process between a mother and her baby, but also in the bonding process between two people in a loving relationship.

Oxytocin is responsible for a "let down" while breastfeeding. In other words, it helps a mothers milk to flow. It also helps a mother's uterus return to its original size after giving birth. 

The amazing thing about it though, is that research found that a dose of Oxytocin can actually decrease headaches and for some people it can make pain go away completely after four hours. So before you take medication for your headache next time, experiment a little with one of the following ways to release that magical hormone and see if it brings you some relief.

Ways to get Oxytocin to flow...

Cuddling & Skin to Skin Contact

One of the best parts of any love relationship is surely the cuddling. Whether it is to watch a movie in the arms of your loved one or warming up by being really close together on a cold winter's night, it just makes you feel good!

Many women will also admit that their prefered pillow is the arm of their husband. When you love someone so deeply, you love to be physically close to them. And the more time you spend that close to each other, the stronger the bond between you becomes.

Read all the wonderful benefits of skin to skin contact, attachment parenting and kangaroo mother care. 

Holding Hands

Couples who are in a long term relationship with a strong and deep connection, are able to soothe each other in situations that are stressful, just by holding hands.

But this is not just true for couples. Many times it just comes naturally to soothe someone in distress, grieving, or upset by taking their hand and reassuring them. Even though you might have just meant it as a sign of your sympathy and support, your touch physically allows something amazing to happen in that person that calms and reassures them.

Hugs and Kisses

Kissing is another fun way to release the feel-good hormone. It can reduce anxiety and give you a feeling of peace and calm. 

A hug, on average, lasts about 3 seconds. Hugging for at least 20 seconds has been found to increase trust between people.


One of the best ways to nurture someone through touch is by massaging them. Not only does the one being massaged benefit, but the one doing the massaging also benefits.

Learn all about baby massage and how it can be beneficial for the mother and the baby. 


So you might already know that dancing is fun and a great form of exercise to keep you healthy. But did you know it releases oxytocin? Grab a partner and dance to your hearts delight!

Tension and Arguments

Every couple experiences tension at some point in their relationship. It is part of being human. This tension can many times lead to arguments, which in turn makes the tension even worse. But how about trying something totally different next time tension arises between the two of you?

Notice how you drift away from your partner as things get a bit heated. Those are definitely not the moments you feel like tenderly touching each other. But if you can make a conscious decision to change that and sit close to your partner in order to allow natural touching, or even if you take your partner's hands in yours, you'll find that you either have to stop touching so that you can keep on fighting, or you will have to stop fighting so that you can keep touching.

This will take some practice and may feel awkward at first, but it will be well worth it in the end and help you and your partner to stay connected. Soon you'll find it easier and easier to choose the tenderness over the argument.

Other Benefits

  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Sleep
  • Helps with the Bonding Process
  • Relieves Pain
  • Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Depression (including postpartum depression)
  • Increases Empathy, Trust and Generosity
  • Reduces Fear
  • Improves your Mood
  • Strengthens the Immune System

Oxytocin is amazing!

Other pages on breastfeeding problems in connection with this page on "what is Oxytocin" 

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