How Understanding Gender Differences in Mothers and Fathers Helps New Parents

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Young happy pregnant woman with  husband in kitchenPregnant mothers often feel their moods shifting up and down as their hormones are changing within their bodies. They feel excited yet also worried as they feel these shifting changes and the awareness growing life within.

They feel discouraged because they believe their husbands can’t possibly understand what they are going through and seek other females to share confidences with.

How Hormone Changes of Expectant Fathers Help Mothers

Science journalist Paul Raeburn gathered data about the changing hormones many fathers go through pre and post-natally. Raeburn reported that many first time fathers underwent hormonal changes before and after their babies were born.

I report these findings, so mothers know their husbands, too, may be experiencing hormonal changes that affect them during and after pregnancy. Although these hormonal changes are different from what the mother-to-be is going through, knowing this does help her trust him to be more understanding of her experience

1. Raeburn discovered that expectant fathers had lower testosterone and cortisol (a stress hormone) levels and detectably higher levels of estradiol, a hormone known to influence maternal behavior in women.

2. Equally remarkable was his finding that as the expectant father’s testosterone level lowered, the bonding hormone, oxytocin, increased preparing the man for involvement with his newborn.

3. Similarly, knowing these hormonal changes may be occurring in her husband, can help the mother-to-be understand her husband better, as well.

4. These findings also help the expectant mother feel encouraged about her experience with her husband once their baby is born. She can now know that he will be prepared to help her understand their newborn’s mind.

If the mother knows that the father’s hormonal changes prepared him for involvement with the newborn, she can trust him more in understanding their baby’s needs, something they can learn about together.

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