Dad/Baby Brain Fusion

Dad/Baby Brain Fusion

The Force Will Be With You

There is more to you than you know; a powerful internal biological drive to become the dad you choose. The forces of nature are literally in you and part of what you bring to the dad table. 

High-Performance Additives 

Please excuse the automotive metaphors, but they’re the best way to describe the powerful force that will emerge within you. Even before your baby arrives, pheromones emitted by your pregnant mate kick-starts a daddy brew of hormones in your brain. They act like a high octane additive that improves your performance, enabling you to care for your child and pull him from a burning building.

Here is the makeup of your Daddy brain additive:

    • Oxytocin helps drive daddy-baby relationships too. The more you interact with your new baby, the more oxytocin you and your baby will enjoy and the deeper your bond will be. Taking your shirt off and laying your diapered baby on your chest benefits both of you.
    • Vasopressin, the “family man” hormone, helps promote your overriding commitment to mom and your baby, patience, calm, stability, enhanced vigilance, and a strong protective inclination for your mate and child. It refocuses your perspective through your new “dad’s lens.”
    • Cortisol, the stress hormone, doubles in the three weeks before birth. It intensifies our feelings and response to our baby’s cries, and also fuels our fight-or-flight impulse, which supports your heightened protective role.
    • Prolactin increases 20% in the weeks before birth and enhances your instincts to care for your baby.
    • Testosterone drops 33% in the first weeks after birth, and bounces back to normal at about six weeks. Beyond temporarily diminishing your sex drive, this enables a strong emotional focus on your baby during a prime bonding period.

Dad Turbocharger & Performance Chip

Your baby will add the equivalent of a turbocharger and engine performance chip in your brain for a long term boost in daddy horsepower. Triggered by physical contact with your baby, your brain repurposes existing neurons and develops new ones to support you as a father (like mom’s brain, but not as fast or as much—initially).

  • Men who experience pregnancy symptoms report feeling close and connected to their mate and baby and feel she appreciated him “sharing” her pregnancy.
  • Couvade syndrome is now thought to be triggered by biochemical and hormonal changes in dads-to-be.
  • Research shows men who experience couvade are likely to spend more time caring for their babies.
  • Couvade syndrome typically starts at the end of the first trimester and ends at birth.

If you experience couvade, take a positive view and remember all that’s left of it when your baby arrives is a pre-disposition to be a great dad.

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Dad-Baby Brain Fusion

It gets better. The bond you build with your baby is not a one-way street; he’s also dedicating neurons to you, starting with imprinting your voice while in the womb. When you pick him up and he stares into your eyes, he’s gathering and storing information on you in his neurons. Each time you hold him, he gets a dose of oxytocin with your name on it. Whenever you’re together, you’re generating more life energy than you are consuming (i.e., fusion).

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At 3-4 months old he’ll kick his legs in excitement when he sees you but won’t for anyone else. At birth, he only has 20% of his neurons connected up, and all you have to do is take care of him to get a large share dedicated to you.

A synchronized neurochemical symphony will play out in your brains as primal forces fine-tune your connection. You will bring out the best in him, and he will bring out the best in you. This is the epitome of the human survival instinct.

The bonding that a father’s hands-on care triggers helps explain why, after finally being allowed in the delivery room in the 70’s, fathers tripled their time with their children.

Are You Feeling Some of Your Mate’s Pregnancy Pains?

If you experience unusual nausea, major weight gain, insomnia, or food cravings that mimic your mate’s symptoms, it’s likely you’re experiencing sympathy pains (“couvade syndrome”). While your friends may rag on you, the net result is you’ll likely be a better dad.

  • Men who share symptoms with their mate report feeling close and connected to her and the baby, and she appreciated his “sharing” her pregnancy. 
  • Couvade syndrome is now thought to be triggered by biochemical and hormonal changes in dads-to-be. 
  • Research shows that men who experience couvade are likely to spend more time caring for their babies.
  • Couvade syndrome typically starts at the end of the first trimester and ends with birth.

If you experience couvade, take a positive view and remember: all that will be left when your baby arrives is your predisposition to be a great dad. 

Reddit: Couvade and people thinking it is funny you're puking your guts out.

Scientific American: Why do some dads vomit when their wives are pregnant?