Tags: dad | hormone | pregnancy | changes

Expectant Dads Have Hormonal Changes, Too

By    |   Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 03:23 PM

Expectant fathers undergo hormone changes, too. That’s the key finding of new research that shows impeding fatherhood can lower a man’s levels of testosterone and estradiol, even before their babies are born.
 
Past studies have shown men's hormones change once they become fathers, and there is some evidence that this is a function of a decline after the child's birth.
 
But the new findings, by University of Michigan scientists, are the first to indicate hormonal changes begin even earlier, during the transition to fatherhood.
 
"We don't yet know exactly why men's hormones are changing," said Robin Edelstein, who led the study published in the American Journal of Human Biology. "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.
 
"Nevertheless, fathers' hormonal changes could have important implications for paternal behavior once their babies are born."
 
Expectant mothers experience significant hormone changes throughout the transition to parenthood, but less has been known about the prenatal hormone changes among soon-to-be fathers, Edelstein noted.
 
The findings are based on tests of 29 first-time expectant couples between the ages of 18 and 45 for changes in testosterone, cortisol, estradiol, and progesterone over the course of the pregnancies.
 
Women experienced large prenatal increases in all four hormones, while men saw declines in testosterone (which is associated with aggression and parental care) and estradiol (which is associated with caregiving and bonding).
 
No changes were found in men's cortisol (a stress hormone) or progesterone (which is associated with social closeness and maternal behavior).
 

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Impeding fatherhood can lower a man's levels of testosterone and estradiol, even before their babies are born, a new study has found.
dad, hormone, pregnancy, changes
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2014-23-18
Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 03:23 PM
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