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Why Oxytocin Matters

Why Oxytocin Matters by Kerstin Uvnas Moberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How do you write a succinct primer on a topic that touches almost all human interactions… a topic that encompasses love, birth, caring, community and health? Well if you are the world leading authority on the topic for decades then it can seem like a challenge to fit it all in. Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg is one such giant amongst us. She has not only made possible for us to understand the physiology and importance of Oxytocin and its role in human health but has a way of putting the information across that doesn’t feel like you are reading a science textbook! Now that’s one of the hardest things to do in my opinion.

If you want to know why safeguarding your physiological environment to promote a positive space during pregnancy, birth and postnatal period is paramount, then oxytocin is the answer. This book will help you get a rounded approach on the topic and motivate you to consider your behaviours, actions and environment to maximise the impact of the hormone and its benefits both as a mother and for your baby.

The narrative is spread from pregnancy, to birth to postnatal period and includes information within the context of synthetic oxytocin use in a balanced and informative manner. Each section has a bulleted summary that helps in keeping the key points in mind as you move on to the next section. However, the sections within each chapter though broad and expansive are sometimes almost too short to get meaningful information from which really robs from the fantastic story of the role of oxytocin. I must admit at this stage however, that as a keen reader on all things birth physiology I have read all of Kerstin’s previous books on Oxytocin, so I haven’t come to this book without some prior knowledge on the topic. Thus, the need for depth on some topics could possibly reflect more on me as a reader than the book.

The reason I love this book is it is such a great introduction to the topic if you haven’t read anything on oxytocin before. However, like me if you know the area in a general way this book still adds to your understanding especially the breath of influence Oxytocin has on the various bodily functions and helps consolidate that knowledge.

If you are pregnant or a new mother (and you have time to read!), this book will give you a great overview of oxytocin and may even help you structure your decisions around birth and mothering accordingly. If you are a birth educator, you will be able to use the information in the book to be able to clearly and simply explain the role of oxytocin in the perinatal period to your clients. It’s a winner in any context and should be on your shelf.

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