My first instinct when holding an absurdly cute, especially chubby baby is obviously to try to take a bite out of its leg. Am I weird? Maybe. I don’t have the willpower to resist a roll of chubby, baby thigh. It must be nibbled on. I feel similarly about cupcakes.
According to new research, this does not make me a psychotic, cannibal baby-eater. A study published in the latest issue of Frontiers in Psychology found that the smell of a fresh baby activates all kinds of crazy pleasure centers in women’s’ brains. When two groups of women — those who had given birth in the last six weeks and those who had never given birth — sniffed the pajamas of two-day-old infants, they all went wild, but the new mothers brains lit up like pinball machines hitting the high score. Why? Because baby smell triggers the same part of our brains that make us think we’ve found a cupcake when we’re starving.
“What we have shown for the first time is that the odor 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,” explained Johannes Frasnelli, one of the co-authors of the study.
That’s right new mothers. Watch out. I’m craving your baby. [Christian Science Monitor]
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