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Did you know this about becoming a dad?

Dad And Baby 470

Men's bodies and hormones don't change when they have a baby... or do they?

Recent studies suggest that new dads go through physical changes too when they and their partner have a baby... This is a brief extract from an article about what we know now about dads...

The science of fatherhood: How your body and brain change when you become a dad (Tiny Happy People BBC)

"There are two major changes that happen, generally the first time you become a dad: hormonal changes and brain changes" Dr Anna Machin, author of "The Life of Dad: The Making of the Modern Father".

The main hormonal change is a drop in testosterone...

"Men with lower testosterone are much more sensitive towards their children and empathetic."

Drops in testosterone also make dad more patient too, which is helpful with a baby or toddler.

Children also experience the same rush of dopamine and oxytocin as dads through cuddling and playing. So from early on, dads can start building bonds through touch, hugs, skin-to-skin contact and massage. However, the biggest rushes of oxytocin come as baby grows and the relationship with dad becomes even more interactive.

As well as changes in hormone levels, when you become a dad, your brain physically changes too.

"We see changes in those areas which we need to be able to parent well", says Anna. "So, for example, in the outer brain we see increases in areas needed for skills such as planning, focusing without distraction and problem solving. In the unconscious brain, we see activity in areas related to nurturing and risk detection, which are needed to know your baby is safe".

More information on how your body and brain change when you become a dad