Officially we have five senses – sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.
Of the senses, smell is probably our weakest.
It’s not that we can’t smell things.
Although our biology is not quite as sophisticated as our animal breatheren. Human olfactory sensors are biologically limited.
Or are they ?
The mother-baby bond
The connection happens through sight, through sound, through touch AND SMELL. This is what a multinational team of researchers discovered.
New born babies have a smell.
Women notice it. Mom’s respond to it.
They respond, with delight.
Dollops of dopamine, one of our feel good chemicals, drips into the reward related cerebral areas of the brain.215
Bottling the smell of a newborn
To study the neurological response to newborn odour, the team needed to bottle the baby smell.
They did this by dressing 18 healthy new arrivals, in 100 % cotton undershirts. The shirts were worn for 2 nights, following birth – instead of sending them for laundering, the team popped the “dirty” shirts into big zip lock bags.
And then froze them to preserve the odor.
The shirts were removed from the freezer about an hour or so, before they were to be sniffed, by women holed up in a fMRI machine.
Sniffing out the newborn response
The team kept the identity of the smell a secret.
They blew the newborn baby smells, intermittently into the air, flowing into the fMRI machine – probing the neuronal responses of 30 young healthy women.
- 15 of the women were new Moms, currently nursing their own little one.
- 15 of the women were not Moms.
It smells pleasant
All the women reported the smell was weak, unfamiliar but mildly pleasant.
Suggesting, newborn baby smell is kind of nice.
But, how nice, depended…….
New Moms showed a different response inside their brain’s.
A dollop of dopamine
For new Moms the smell was REALLY NICE.
The neuronal processing revealed smelling the newborn baby caused the release of dopamine in the areas of the brain associated with GOOD FEELINGS.
The research team speculate this brain activity is helping mom and baby connect.
Stop and smell THE BABY
You’re smelling a lot more than you realize – don’t let these smells, fly under your radar.
If you’ve got a baby, big or small, take a moment to bond.
Go on, close your eyes, take a deep breath and breathe in their unique smell………..wallow in it, experience the dollop of dopamine as it trickles down, allow the waves of happiness to wash over you……..
Take the time to “STOP AND SMELL the ROSES your BABY” !
Phthalates, make things smell good, but, they look a lot like our hormones, since hormones run our body chemistry, this similarity is problematic.
If you’re looking for a way to supercharge yourself without using caffeine – the horror movie sniff might be an option to consider.
The good news is that you might not actually need to drink coffee to wake-up the brain, just savouring the aroma can trigger a brain buzzing response.