Oct 1, 2009

Natural born SuperDad?

As we all already know taking care of a child is a physical and emotional marathon. Start from birth to infanthood to toddlerhood and things might ease up a bit at pre-school stage.

For a mom, it may not be so surprising that the hormonal surges of pregnancy and childbirth endow mothers with some extra oomph to help them through. Studies have shown that their senses become sharper, and they're more resilient and more motivated. These changes in the brain take place because many hormones — testosterone, estrogen and prolactin among them — also act in the brain to regulate its functions and help it react to change in the environment.

But how is it for a man? I found this on the internet and falls deeply for the word. It says:

"A man is called a father the day his first born enters this world. In truth, the quest for fatherhood has just begun, and it will last a lifetime. Father is the proud young man filled with joy at the sight of his newborn, and the exhausted, frustrated caretaker of a baby, wide awake at 3 a.m. As the child grows, Father is the rule maker, and the rule breaker. He is the invincible hero to his son; the knight in shining armor to his daughter. Father is all powerful, all knowing, all wise and wonderful...until his child reaches adolescence. Now Father is patient and kind, loving and proud, helpful and understanding. Everything he wished his own father would be. Everything he wishes he could be. And when his son becomes a father, he will understand. Here, for every man striving to be a father he always wanted to be, are daily meditations offering understanding, compassion, reassurance and spiritual guidance on life's most exciting and rewarding journey - that of becoming a father."

So things are suppose to change for a man who is newly known as a father.  Loving a woman and fathering her children changes a man's body and brain in ways that make him more canny and resourceful, while improving his ability to handle stress. At the same time, living with the woman he loves alters a man's hormones and neurochemistry to make him a better mate.

From a study done by Craig Kinsley and Kelly Lambert in regards to the positive changes in the brains of deer rats daddies and found that rats that father litters also get smarter at finding food and less stressed in new situations. Lambert calls this monogamous and highly paternal creature "Mr. Mom." Once a male mates, he hangs around the nest whenever he's not out foraging to feed the family, grooming the babies and keeping a close eye on them.

It makes sense that pregnancy could remodel a female's brain; Lambert wants to understand what drives similar changes in the male's. Lambert tests for paternal behavior by placing a baby mouse under a plastic cup and then placing a male in the cage with it. The more paternal a mouse is, the harder he'll try to rescue the pup. Deer mice that had fathered litters were a lot more persistent than the bachelors.

"We looked at their brains, and there was more activation in the problem-solving areas in the good dads, as if they were more engaged in actively trying to solve the problem of getting the pups out," Lambert says. Similar changes in a man's brain could improve job performance.

But these changes aren't automatic. Lambert has found that simply exposing a male deer mouse to baby mice — even if they're not his own — is enough to trigger growth in the parts of his brain involved in motivation and problem solving. Lambert's theory is that there are circuits in the brains of paternal species that are activated by the sight and sounds of wriggly pups.

"There's some brain circuit there for parental behavior," Lambert says. "Layers of the brain are activated when they're drawn or motivated to care for another animal."

Further I surfed the internet and I found that studies have found that married men have lower levels of testosterone, the hormone that makes them randy and roaming.

Also there is another study of human couples, pre- and postnatal, found that men had higher levels of prolactin and lower levels of sex steroids after the baby was born. Prolactin is known as the hormone of lactation, but it also seems to influence a new father's responsiveness to his baby's cries, while dads with lower levels of testosterone are more sympathetic to their babies and more motivated to respond to them. But these hormone changes don't necessarily mean that married sex has to be cooler. I’m sure we can think of a thing or two in turning the heat up, right?

See mommies! Daddies do have hormonal changes once we got pregnant.

From the poll, I believed that most fathers out there did go through a certain form and percentage of changes... and you mommies are loving it. The man that we love have now evolved into a more sensitive and complex person with only one goal... that is to be the BEST family man!

Understanding how fatherly nurturing of the young gets triggered should provide some encouragement to new dads who take one look at their squalling bundles of red and say, "Eeou." Fatherly love may take time to grow. After all, mom's body and brain have enjoyed a nine-months-long stew of hormones to prepare her for this role, while the overhaul of dad's brain seems to begin only at the appearance of the child.

A good tip on how the father can increase his fatherly intuition is to get him to cuddle the newborn child within the first few hours after birth. This is when the little creature is experiencing the "sensitive moment" where he/she is trying to adjust to the new worlds by feeling the warmth touch and smelling the surrounding. So let the father hold his new offspring with his warm hands and let the little one recognize the smell of his/her own father. Automatically a special bond will be created...and a new love will grow even stronger.


nadnye said...

u know my hubby quit smoking after knowing he's going to be a father .. that happen after the fasting month and keep changing to be a better dad :)

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor nor am I a lawyer. I am not a scientist nor am I an expert. I am just a wife and a mother, who is putting her thoughts and findings in a blog. All of the posting on this website & my blogs were written by me for educational purposes and as my sentimental library, but are not meant to diagnose nor treat any medical disorders. Any other materials that I may have quote from other published materials are for educational purposes only and not for any other manipulative reasons. Anyway, whatever weird stuff that I published are the real stuff that I believe works for me. Tips and tricks that might work for me. You are free to put it in your head if you thinks its valuable, but if you think its rubbish... Please don't mock me. Do please shut your pie hole.
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