Skip to comments.Newborn baby’s smell is as addictive as drugs or food: study
Posted on 02/24/2014 8:47:51 PM PST by Altariel
TORONTO For women, smelling a newborn baby feels as good as drugs are to addicts or cheeseburgers to those just breaking a fast, new Montreal research suggests.
A University of Montreal scientist says a newborn babys odour lights up the reward centres in our brain in a way other scents cant. And for women specifically moms the experience, a rush of dopamine to the brain, is heightened.
The reaction is so strong, it exists even if the baby isnt in front of you. Its chemistry between mom and baby.
What weve shown for the first time is the odour of newborns which is part of these signals activates the neurological reward circuit in mothers. 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, lead researcher Dr. Johannes Frasnelli said.
Frasnelli is a professor of psychology in Montreal. He recently collaborated with colleagues in Sweden and Germany in a project looking at how odour affects our brains. Do we react to the scent of a stranger the same way we respond to the scents of our family members or friends?
In this case, the scent of newborn babies was put to the test. Their pajamas they had lived in for about a day or two were frozen to capture the odour. Then, 30 women half of which were moms and half werent were put to the test.
Under an fMRI scanner, they were given shots of air, newborn baby scent and a third scent. They were then asked to describe the scents in the case of the baby odour, it was typically described as slightly pleasant while researchers studied their brain reaction.
But the brain scans revealed that the limbic system of the womens brains had lit up. And for new moms, the reward centre responded so strongly there was a marked statistical difference compared to the group of women who hadnt had their maternal instincts kick in yet.
Frasnelli said that if a baby scent can tap into our reward centres so strongly, it could explain why parenthood makes new moms and dads so happy. Even without the baby in front of them, the subjects brains were flooded with feel-good endorphins.
You have this new person, this little thing in your home thats crying all the time but its such a beautiful thing, every parent will tell you. And why is that? Its partly because of these activations here, Frasnelli told Global News.
You want to be close to the baby, it gives you so much reward. Some people describe a babys odour like chicken soup.
Dopamine is also linked to sexual pleasure and other forms of gratification. Lab rats that can tamper with their dopamine levels using electrodes can become so addicted to the chemical, theyll forgo eating to keep pumping it through their systems.
Men were not included in the study, so Frasnelli is unsure if this is an innate human reaction or an experience exclusive to women.
Hes also unsure if the heightened reaction from moms stems from a learned reaction after spending time with their babies or if its a natural chemistry between women and babies.
Frasnellis full findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Read the full study here.
Very interesting Ping
I think the word “addiction” is being used inappropriately here. I seriously doubt that the brain is being remodeled in such a way as to make smelling babies an overriding imperative that causes one to ignore everything else to the point of dying.
Many things activate the reward centers of the brain without being addictive.
Its amazing how the physiological bond is established between a mother and an infant. The species would not survive if this did not occur. Also there is no sound in the world that will awaken and draw a mother to her infant like the infant’s cry. It cannot be ignored. If an alarm clock were made that were effectively to mimic that cry, it would be too effective to use.
ONE Canadian scientist says something. Oh my.
I imagine that all his "research" was totally UNBIASED, used a million women of ALL socio-economic strata, all races, all cultures and so on so the results would have SOME meaning. Lol. NOT.
ONE scientist says this. Wow. He must have used his crystal ball and ouija board along with all his "scientific evidence."
"Addictive" means that when you stop the food, smell or activity you get SICK, like a heroin addict who stops his heroin cold turkey.
"Habit forming" would be the correct terminology. Smoking is habit forming. When you stop it you don't get sick...you stop coughing.
I think addiction is the wrong word, don’t know what word to use, however every one I have seen pick a new born will smell them.
There is a smell that just says “life, there is possibility”.
I always thought it was the Johnson’s Baby Bath.
It’s the “new car smell” for babies.
That’s what happens when you change the little dears on the same bathroom tables people are doing lines off of.
Later, the baby’s body smells like spit up and poop. Yuck!
Compare that to “old people’s smell”. Have they studied that?
Liberals like the smell of newborn blood.
Strangely enough, eight out of ten people receiving the services of any Planned Parenthood Clinic appear to have developed an immunity to this Baby Rose Addiction.
From the time I can first remember until my Mother died, she always had such a pleasant aroma. If she hugged me I immediately recalled that pleasing scent.
I never did ask my siblings if they had the same experience but I personally think it probably developed while she was nursing me as a baby.
“Babies smell!” — Dr. Alan Grant
My ex...is cambodian....there is a plant...they call it “wood tea”....ingestion of which....causes the subject.....to emit a particular odor....it smells like ...a flower food....like something delicious .....she smelled like that for 25 yrs....until one day she gave me the tea.....her family condemned her for it.....and never let her have any again.....the tea is for royalty only....it makes people
irresistible...the smell is like a drug....and its not an illusion....people nearby are captivated....I know this first hand.
It was mixed with something else...something that was sposed to increase the overall strength of one consuming it.
handed down for generations.....I keep a tiny bit of it...to remember...she doesnt drink the tea anymore..at all........But her sister does :)
My daughter refused to ever try it....
I think it actually provides a different ...very efficient stomach bacteria...Interesting stuff.
Anyway....I know where it grows...and what it looks like....But it would take a small army to get in and out.