Here is something in case if you needed another excuse to snuggle your baby. Hugging your baby gives the body a tiny dose of oxytocin. This is a neurotransmitter that is associated with intimacy, love, appreciation, and all the other positive emotions.
According to a new study, hugging your baby can have an immensely positive effect on their biology when they grow up. Other research from the University of British Columbia, claims that the more you hug your child, the more epigenetic DNA changes it experiences.
As a result, at least five areas of their DNA experience these changes, including their metabolism and immune system. However, if a child doesn’t experience physical contact in the first weeks after it is born, their molecular profile in the cells might become underdeveloped for their age.
Studies and Research
As some animal studies claim, this phenomenon happens in rodents as well. According to a professor at UBC’s Department of Medical Genetics, Michael Kobor, slower epigenetic aging can affect the developmental progress in children.
Furthermore, a different study issued in the journal Development and Psychopathology claimed to have the same results. In that study, parents had to keep a diary of their infants and write about the changes in their behavior.
Also, they had to pay attention to their cuddling and touching habits for 5 weeks. After 5 years passed, scientists sampled the DNA of the same children who grew up. To get the appropriate results, scientists checked for any epigenetic process of DNA methylation.
According to the results, there is a significant difference in the methylation in the DNA between the children who had close connection and contact with their parents and the ones who didn’t.
More accurately, some children who always had close contact with their parents had an improved metabolism and immune system. Even though the research is still in its early days, it can still serve as proof that our children need more attention and love.
Scientists will keep following this research to learn about any new changes in the results. Also, they will concentrate on how cuddling can affect our body and lives. Finally, it is important to always provide your child with the physical contact and love that it needs. Therefore, make sure to hug them more.
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