May 16, 2011
According to a new study published in Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers, led by Gunther Meinlschmidt, PhD, may have found a connection between the brain chemical oxytocin and postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression affects close to one in five women and can create bonding issues with a newborn child. It can also cause suicidal thoughts, and is a leading cause of maternal death in the UK. It affects up to 19 percent of mothers and can adversely affect the mental development of a child.
Oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone’ or ‘feel good chemical’ is released during human contact. It is also connected to uterine contraction during delivery and the letdown reflex which occurs during breastfeeding.