Breast feeding triggers 'feel-good' hormone

July 18, 2008 2:18:07 PM PDT
Women who breast feed will often say it's a wonderful experience and now researchers say they know why. Breast feeding triggers a flood of the feel-good hormone oxytocin that releases milk from the mammary gland and then provides that feeling of love and trust in the mother that ensures the babies needs are met.

But this reflex has long puzzled researchers.

Scientists used a special computer model to measure what happens during breast feeding and found that it not only taps the normal brain cells involved in secreting oxytocin but also affects another part of the brain that results in bursts of the hormone released at regular intervals.


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