Baby Smiles Addictive

I love it when research proves something as a mother you have always known:

“These are areas that have been activated in other experiments associated with drug addiction [so] it may be that seeing your own baby’s face is like a ‘natural high,”

This was in findings, which were published in the Journal of Pediatrics. Other that this being a nice fact to know, scientists believe that it could help explain the special mother-infant bond, and how it sometimes goes wrong.

Kate Benson quotes Lane Strathearn, who is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston in her article Baby Smiles Addictive in The Age Online.

Lane Strathearn studied brain scans and:

“of 28 new mothers taken as they looked at photographs of their own happy babies and found that parts of the brain, such as the substantia nigra, the striatum and the frontal lobe – which are involved in processing emotion, cognition and behaviour – all lit up.”

I can remember spending so much time just watching the response of my babies to my face and smile and adoring their smile in response. Unfortunately for many reasons this may not always be the way it is for some new mothers.

“The relationship between mothers and infants is critical for child development, but for whatever reason, in some cases, that relationship doesn’t develop normally. Neglect and abuse can result, with devastating effects on a child’s development,” (Lane Strathearn)

It would be fantastic if this research can help reduce the instances of child abuse and neglect.

Can you remember when your baby first smiled?