The role of pheromones in family relations


Pheromones are unusual substances. Their occurrence and action are so wide that we wouldn’t be surprised if scientists have not yet found all the information on them. Did you know that these chemicals are also found in the mother-newborn baby relationship?


Pheromones do not only act in the relations between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and a man. They also play a significant role in shaping relations between mother and her newborn baby. Thanks to pheromones (specifically, due to so-called signalling pheromone), a baby is able to recognize its mother already on the second day after its birth!


Signals and modification

When you spend time with your child, the so-called signalling-modifying pheromone is produced. Due to its action, a baby recognizes sex of the parent. The action of this pheromone can bring along a lot of different emotions: attachment to the parent of the opposite sex or the same sex, as well as the rejection of a parent of the opposite sex or the same sex. It has been shown that also your child is able to produce the signalling pheromone. We may also figure out that the baby produces a pheromone modifying the behaviour of its parents. In this way, people are even able to instantly love an adopted child.


Oxytocin – a substance full of trust

When you begin to breastfeed your child, at that moment a substance called oxytocin is released. It is a neuropeptide that affects the behaviours related to trust – so it makes the mother strengthens her relationship with her newborn baby. When the baby irritates the nipples during breastfeeding, oxytocin is secreted in the mother’s brain, which helps her focus on the child. Why did we mention it? Because oxytocin is a common ingredient of pheromones.


Interestingly, the construction of pheromones responsible for the relationship of parents with their child still remains unknown. Given, however, their beneficial properties, no one seems to have any problems with that.