Pregnancy, Babies, Parenting News & Tips

Why Do Moms Love to 'Eat' Their Babies: STUDY

By Camille H / Sep 27, 2013 10:52 AM EDT

Tags : why, moms, love, eat, babies, study

  • Why Do Moms Love to 'Eat' Their Babies: STUDY
  • (Photo : storyvillegirl/Flickr) Why Do Moms Love to 'Eat' Their Babies: STUDY

The desire of parents to 'gobble up' their cute children may have a scientific explanation, according to Live Science.

Like Us on Facebook

The smell of a newborn baby triggers a surge of dopamine for new moms similar to the reward response that comes with satisfying a craving for food, the study researchers found. Smells are part of a network of chemical communication signals between mother and child and they can be intense, said study author Johannes Frasnelli, a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of Montreal.

"What we have shown for the first time is that the odor of newborns, which is part of these signals, activates the neurological reward circuit in mothers," Frasnelli said in a statement. "These circuits may especially be activated when you eat while being very hungry, but also in a craving addict receiving his drug. It is in fact the sating of desire."

Frasnelli and colleagues recruited two groups of women: 15 without any kids and 15 first-time moms who had given birth three to six weeks before the experiment. (The study did not include men.)

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers measured the participants' brain activity as they sniffed through an olfactometer, a device that's held up to the nose to detect smells. The researchers fed the olfactometer with the odor of different infants, collected in the form of cotton undershirts worn by 18 newborns.

The women were not told what they were smelling in the experiment, and they were asked to rate how pleasant, intense and familiar each odor was. Overall, the women in both groups rated the baby odors as weak, unfamiliar and mildly pleasant. But the moms generally had greater activity in a part of their brain linked to reward, the researchers said.

© 2015 ParentHerald.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

'The Walking Dead' New Character Aaron a Good Guy?

"The Walking Dead" series is known for its whirlwind of characters, and now a new one named Aaron is leaving fans guessing.

Read More »

Should Rockstar Release 'Red Dead Redemption 2' or 'Manhunt 3'? [Poll]

Rumor of the release of 'Red Dead Redemption 2" will soon be proven correct or not as the speculated March 2015 due date nears.

Read More »

'Transformers' Actress Megan Fox Wins Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress

Megan Fox, rumored to be the leading lady in "Transformers 5," bagged the award for worst supporting actress.

Read More »

Xbox One March Update to Bring Screenshot Feature? [Rumors]

The 2015 Xbox One update for March might bring a screenshot feature, according to some rumors.

Read More »

Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Tech Grey' Drops February

The AJ 4, remastered by the Jordan brand, is believed to be a strong close-out for the label, after a string of releases during the NBA All-Star weekend.

Read More »

Amber Rose Calls Kim Kardashian a 'W***e'; Khloe Defends Her

Are Kim Kardashian and Kanye West heading to a divorce?

Read More »

Pacquiao vs Mayweather Fight 2015 Contract Details Revealed; Drug Test Clause Confirmed

Pacquiao and Mayweather are now close to completing the contract for their fight on May 2, 2015.

Read More »

Iron Man Joins 'Captain America 3' Confirms Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. has confirmed that Iron Man will be in "Captain America: Civil War."

Read More »

LG G4 Release Date Delayed to April

LG seems to be trying to avoid the Samsung Galaxy S6. The company has moved the release of the LG G4 to April.

Read More »

PlayStation Plus Free Games List March 2015 to Include 'Helldivers'?

Information about a free PlayStation Plus game might have been leaked recently.

Read More »

'Jurassic World' Dinosaurs Revealed So Far

For those who really want to know more about the dinosaurs that will be appearing in "Jurassic World," here is a list compiled from Jurassic World.com.

Read More »

Anti-Vaccine Parents to Blame for U.S. Measles Outbreak?

A measles epidemic is slowly making its way across the United States and all fingers are pointing to the anti-vaccination movement.

Read More »

Real Time Analytics