Our culture increasingly emphasises “parenting” rather than “mothering” – yet only mothers can give birth. Mothers are only too well aware of their hormones around this time … and clearly they all have purposes and functions. They are part of our biology, they reflect “highly conserved neuroendocrine behaviours”.
So what about fathers?
Certainly in our culture they should be there … but do they have the “neuroendocrine behaviour” ? If not, perhaps they are useless. There is however some research trying to answer this, and it shows that fathers have exactly the same neural pathways in the brain that mothers do. They also have the exact same hormones and neurotransmitters – BUT in different concentrations. The hormones influence how the brain works.
My question is: can we influence the hormones that influence how the father’s brain works ?
I am conducting pilot study research on this here in Cape Town, and am looking for first time fathers, who with their partners consent, will give me blood samples during labour and after birth, and then while father does skin-to-skin contact. In return for the blood, I provide a KangaCarrier, and can help and advise on the early hours of junior’s life! Please contact me!
See photos and hear from one of the fathers!
(Research is approved by the University of Cape Town Human Research Ethics Committee.)