New York: Hormones play spoilsport with mothers during pregnancy leading to various mood swings and other physiological changes. They don’t spare the fathers too. So you don’t believe it? Just because men don’t carry the baby in their belly or breastfeed it doesn’t mean hormones side with them. In fact a new study has shown that fathers undergo various hormonal changes as delivery date approaches closer.
What does the study say?
Previous studies have indicated that man’s hormonal levels changes after becoming a father. However, new studies point out otherwise. ‘Our findings suggest that these changes may begin even earlier, during the transition to fatherhood,’ said lead study author Robin Edelstein from University of Michigan.
What did the study conclude?
During the study, researchers found that women showed large prenatal increases in salivary testosterone, cortisol, which is primarily know as the stress hormone, estradiol that functions like estrogen and progesterone. On the other hand men showed significant prenatal declines in testosterone and estradiol but no detectable changes in cortisol or progesterone. While the results in women were expected, the results seen in men suggest that impending fatherhood might cause men’s hormone levels to change.
Lower testosterone level in men reduces aggression and helps to bond better with the baby after the birth.
What causes these hormonal changes in men?
‘We do not yet know exactly why men’s hormones are changing; these changes could be a function of psychological changes that men experience as they prepare to become fathers, changes in their romantic relationships, or even physical changes that men experience along with their pregnant partners,’ Edelstein explained.
Additional studies are warranted to understand whether partners’ prenatal hormone changes are linked with postpartum behaviour and adjustment.