Welcome to our Book of the Month blog. Each month we will select a book from our range available to hire and talk about why we enjoy it. You can see the full range of books available to hire here – hire a book for just £2 with any sling hire.
The Hormone of Closeness and The Oxytocin Factor – Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg
Our selected books for February are ‘The Hormone of Closeness’ and ‘The Oxytocin Factor by Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg. Here is what they have to say about the books:
The Hormone of Closeness offers an exciting physiological perspective on intimacy and relationships. The closeness hormone, oxytocin, give us comfort and peace, but it also creates and reinforces relationships throughout life. Based on current research, Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg, the author of the ground-breaking The Oxytocin Factor, describes the importance of oxytocin in the connection between parents and children, in love and companionship and in increasing trust in our society.– Pinter and Martin, The Hormone of Closeness
The author argues that oxytocin plays a crucial part in our ability to socialise, feel secure and calm, work well and be healthy. She investigates the effects of oxytocin in pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, and looks at the role of oxytocin in the mother-child relationship and its long-term benefits.
Oxytocin also has an important role to play in adult relationships. It creates a bond between lovers and stimulates social interaction allowing us to form friendships and work in groups. The sense of trust triggered by oxytocin enables us to trust in strangers and accounts for the Doula phenomenon. The relationship between food and closeness is explored, and we learn how the hormone of closeness can offer the key to good health and a longer life.
In recent years there have been exciting scientific discoveries about a hormone whose amazing role in the human body has long been neglected. Oxytocin is the powerful hormone involved in bonding, sex, and childbirth, as well as in relaxation and feelings of calm. It is the mirror image of the stress hormone adrenaline, which triggers the ‘fight or flight’ systems in the body. Much has been written about the latter, but the many-sided importance of oxytocin is at this point known only to those working in obstetrics and physiology and to some psychiatrists.– Pinter and Martin, The Oxytocin Factorwhat we
The Oxytocin Factor is the first book to reveal the importance of the whole oxytocin system for a general audience. Both the new research findings and the potentially beneficial applications of this hormone in reducing anxiety states, stress, addictions, and problems of childbirth are fascinating and of great significance in all our lives.
What we say
If you want to know more about how and when we produce oxytocin and the role it has in bonding with our babies, but also with other adults then “The Oxytocin Factor” is a fantastic book to read, and if you really want to dig deeper into the mechanisms by which oxytocin is produced, how it impacts us in its role both as a hormone and a neurotransmitter and the scientific studies underlying recommended behaviours, such as skin to skin then I highly recommend “The Hormone of Closeness” for those who really want to get to grips with Oxytocin! I found the chapter on adult relationships and oxytocin especially fascinating, not least since this month we are focussing on sex and relationships in the run up to Valentines Day.
Oxytocin levels are one of the things that trigger labour and ensure that our bodies birth our babies, so much so that the drip often used to induce labour is a synthetic form, syntocinon. After birth the skin to skin contact on the mother’s chest causes oxytocin to be produced in both mothers and babies, and it causes our chest to warm so that newborns suckling at the breast get both warmth and nourishment. Breastfeeding and the suckling action also creates regular waves of oxytocin release, around every 90 seconds which helps to bond and relax both parent and baby. Before parenthood, if you have heard of oxytocin, it is likely to be in conjunction with dopamine, known as “the love drug”, and this is because it is not only released when we are close to our babies, but also in adult sexual relations. Even when we are with close, trusted friends we can experience the relaxing, happy and safe-feeling effects of the oxytocin bonding.
Oxytocin is something that in the mum and baby professions we hear a lot about so it was fascinating to read in more depth about how to maximise the conditions to produce this crucial hormone, but also to read about it in other contexts outside the relationship between parent and baby. I am not a scientists, but even the most technical section were understandable, so don’t be put off, these books are anything but dry.