news item / feature post: “Fatherhood”

This past weekend we got a great news article submission from Kelly at Kellyland regarding fatherhood and the hormonal changes they, too, go through during the parenting journey.

This is your brain on fatherhood: Dads experience hormonal changes too, research shows

She said:

During my pregnancy everyone said a woman becomes a mommy when she first finds out she is pregnant and a man becomes a daddy when he first sees his child. This article explains why that might be true.  I wrote a blog post [“Fatherhood“] with the article and linking it to how Ben first reacted to the gender reveal of our baby and how he has grown as a father since her birth.

It’s a really interesting read that you should definitely check out. According to the article:

Oxytocin has been called the”love hormone,” even though its effect isn’t always that lovely. It’s thought to deepen the bond that a mom has with her newborn. But what about the dads, who don’t get pregnant or breastfeed? It turns out that a father’s interactions with his children produce a similar rise in oxytocin levels.

Researchers have found that emotionally involved fathers feel other hormonal effects: reduced levels of aggression-promoting testosterone; higher levels of prolactin, a lust-squelching hormone that shows up in women during breastfeeding and in men after sexual climax; and higher levels of vasopressin, a hormone linked to bonding as well as the maternal stress response.

The article states that by around 4 months of age, the father’s brain activity patterns have “caught up” to those of the mother – was that true in your family?

Today we are leaving comments open here AND on Kelly’s post that she wrote in regards to this article. Make sure to share your experiences here and check out Kelly’s thoughts as well!

Kelly is an auditor by day and a mommy and a cop’s wife by night.  Originally from Pennslyvania, Kelly now finds herself in Kentucky and learning to like sweet tea and bourbon.  She has a houseful of dogs and enjoys reading, autocrossing, and campfires with good friends.  Petrified of birds, her husband is, of course, raising hundreds of quail/pheasants to be released in the wild.  However, it all makes sense in Kellyland.


  1. This was definitely true in our family! Anthony was very excited when I was pregnant, of course, firstly because it finally worked and secondly because he really was excited to be a dad. However, he definitely didn’t have the same feelings I did throughout pregnancy, bonding with the baby through my body, and then even in the first few weeks. He has been madly inlove with her from day 1 and many many times said how he couldn’t believe how much he loved her. But I do think in someways it took a a few months for it to really hit him in the way it had already hit me… then probably almost a year for him to have the bond they have now. I know a lot of that is do to with how she can now talk to him, go on walks holding his hand, play soccer with him and laugh with him over silly jokes.. but who knows, maybe some of it was hormonal, especially in the beginning.

  2. Along these lines, the BBC had a great documentary called “The Biology of Dads” that is worth watching.

  3. This really rings true for me. I feel that prior to having Molly Chippie he wanted a baby but he just didn’t get it but now, now he is a dad he is just so over the moon in love with her that he is eager and more willing to do things for #2. They are such a team and I don’t think he knew how capable he was of those feelings until he had them. For me, Molly has been in my heart from the moment I decided to be a mother I just was waiting for her to come along. For him, he became a father once she was here and he hasn’t looked back.

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