Have you ever wondered why your partner seems eager for cuddles with your newborn? You might have put it down to fatherly instinct. While you're largely right, it could have a lot to do with the way you smell, too. New research conducted by Newcastle University and the University of Stirling suggests the way pregnant and new mothers smell can pique the father's interest in their babies, according to the Independent.
Scientists state that what they've found shows odors have a direct impact on a father's urge to look at their child's face. 91 males, aged from 19-44 were asked to smell different odor samples for a period of 10 minutes. The samples came from women aged between 27 and 33 years old who had recently given birth. Samples were collected three times, firstly during the early months of pregnancy, secondly in late pregnancy and thirdly after they had given birth. Out of the men who smelled post-pregnancy odors, a large proportion of them spent longer looking at babies than the men who didn't.
The lead authors of the study proudly state that they believe this is the first evidence of its kind. While it's not the same, this research is linked to a previous paper that looked at fathers who look after their kids. It was discovered that those who choose to become the primary caregiver often have a drop in testosterone levels. In 2002, the U.S. Census reported that 32% of married fathers regularly cared for their kids under the age of 15.
At the time, the numbers were on the rise and they have steadily increased as the years have rolled by. While moms still outnumber stay at home dads, there has been a shift in how responsibilities are shared.
Regardless of it's the special buzz that dad's get from simply being a dad, or if it is really down to the sweet post-labor scent that you've been trying to shift, one thing is for certain. Dad digs it, and he just wants to look at his newborn as much as he possibly can. Plus, if it means you get to sneak in a nap here or there then who's complaining?