How the scent of a newborn baby has a positive impact on the mother.
In a recent study conducted on a group of women, half were mothers who had just given birth, while the other half had never had a baby, all reacted favourably when exposed to the smell of a newborn baby.
However, the researchers noticed that while the pleasure scans increased in all women, they lit up far more in the brains of the mothers. Says paediatrician Dr Uday Pai, “The study proves that the aroma a newborn emits, creates a positive impact on the mother and has a feel-good effect to it. This helps in strengthening the bond between the mother and her baby. Knowing that such small factors act as significant contributors for bonding, it becomes even more important for a mother to be absolutely tender when it comes to taking care of her baby. To ensure the best possible care, mothers should use products, which are formulated in the gentlest manner. ”
Adds consultant gynaecologist Dr Sukirti Jain, “Many experts agree that not just the sight, but even the aroma of a newborn acts as a chemical bond between mother and child. Scientists have shown brain imaging studies that all women perceive baby aroma through an area in the brain called the caudate nucleus, which is in the centre of brain. Activation of the neurotransmitter dopamine in this area results in perception of the baby aroma, which encourages maternal bonding and gives a sense of security to the newborn. What experts call ‘aroma bonding’ promotes breastfeeding and increases the level of oxytocin — the feel-good or bonding hormone that promotes calm in both mother and child.”
Gynaecologist Dr Manjiri Kawde says that constant skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her baby is especially beneficial in helping mothers overcome postpartum depression. “This also helps establish better lactation,” she adds.
“Ensuring that your baby is happy is not just good parenting — research shows that your hugs, smiles, encouraging looks, sweet songs and silly games, all serve your baby in very specific ways,” adds Dr Pai.
Things to keep in mind
Use a moisturiser regularly because your baby’s skin tends to get dry often due of lack of pigments in the skin.
Diaper rash is very common among babies. Make sure the area is clean and dry by changing nappies often.
When stepping out, ensure that your baby is covered well.
Use mild cleansers while bathing your baby.
Ensure that your baby has adequate space for movement. Babies love to look everywhere and once they start crawling, you need to ensure that all dangerous items like detergents, medicines, electrical appliances, etc are kept out of their reach.
Even though babies might not understand everything you say, experts say that talking to them regularly boosts their brain power.