Oxytocin is the super cool hormone involved in making a baby, birthing a baby, breastfeeding a baby and is very important for bonding and connectedness - not just with a baby, but with everyone. Sarah Buckley refers to it as the hormone of calm and connection. Sounds awesome hey?!
Oxytocin rocks! Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Oxytocin is the hormone released during orgasm (my other favourite "O" word!) that leaves you feeling a bit "high" afterwards. Not up for an orgasm? You can get similar effects by having a cuddle.
Oxytocin is also released during labour. It's what makes the uterus contract. Natural oxytocin also has a great effect on the brain - it has pain relieving properties and helps a woman to get through labour.
It also acts as a pheromone. That means it can have an impact on everyone in the room. If you've ever spent time with a woman labouring unhindered you might have come away feeling a little "high"...that's oxytocin!
I happen to think that oxytocin is awesome and, while I missed out on it during my first birth, I managed to get a bit of the oxytocin high during my second labour. Oxytocin is the reason I'm so excited to be planning an unhindered birth next time - I can't wait to get high!
What is the gratitude challenge? I set myself this challenge as a way of maintaining some mindfulness and gratitude, but also to help me take time each and every day to focus on my writing.
I would welcome anyone else who wants to join the challenge. The rules are simple: Start at a and work your way through to z. You must do one each day, include a photo and they must be at least 2 paragraphs - after all the idea is to work on your writing not just your gratefulness.