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CELEBRITY mums, Victoria Beckham and Danielle Lloyd would be well advised to have as much cuddle time as possible with their newborns.

Survey results[1] released today by HUGGIES® Natural Fit and Netmums, has revealed that nearly two-thirds (62%) of new mums are unaware of the benefits of the hormone Oxytocin, when caring for their little ones.

Reassuringly though, more than half (55%) strongly believe cuddling is the key to encourage a stronger bond with their baby but 22% do not know why.

HUGGIES® Natural Fit’s independent spokeswoman, Dr. Carol Cooper says: “Oxytocin has long been dubbed the cuddle or love hormone and is produced in high levels during both cuddling and breast feeding.

“Becoming a mum for the first time can be a daunting task. It’s therefore important that more mums are aware that there are so many more benefits to cuddling your baby.

“In fact, research by the Basel’s Institute of Psychology[2] claims that mothers with high levels of Oxytocin adapt to motherhood far easier and are less likely to suffer from post-natal depression. Postnatal depression can last up to two years post birth which indicates that the more tactile contact a mother has with her child, the better for both parties.”

The research also revealed that while more than half of mums (52%) cuddle their baby immediately, 42% believe that they should wait so that the baby does not expect immediate attention.

Dr. Cooper comments: “Research has shown that babies who aren’t comforted when they need it actually become more demanding, not less. Parents eventually discover from experience, that there is very little to be gained by waiting for a baby’s cries to reach a crescendo - babies that have reached this point are much harder to pacify.

Dr. Cooper also speaks of the wider social implications associated with a lack of physical affection: “Evidence shows that the part of the brain, known as the Orbitofrontal Cortex, may not mature properly in babies who do not receive enough affection. This region of the brain is still mysterious, but it acknowledged as being vital to decision-making and emotional processing.

“It’s clear that mums are already building a bond with their little ones through a cuddle but I do hope this survey shows all mums that there are many more benefits beyond the initial feel-good factor of a cuddle.

“To put it simply, where there’s mum with high levels of Oxytocin there is a happier mum and a baby getting lots of cuddles and the best start in life.”

- ENDS -

1 The survey was carried out by Netmums, between 14 April – 30 April with a total of 1,460 respondents
2 Dr. Carol Cooper, accredited expert in the field of parenting, and Huggies® expert
3Researchers from the University of Basel (Switzerland), 2011 http://www.science-news.eu/health-news/cluster77886/

For further press information, images or an interview with Dr. Carol Cooper, please contact:

Anna Reich or Jordanne Young at Beattie Communications
Tel: 020 7053 6000 Email: huggiesnaturalfit@onlybeattie.com

Notes to Editors:

Dr Carol Cooper will be working with Huggies® to help parents further understand the importance of cuddling and the actual cuddle hormone, Oxytocin.

Dr Carol Cooper regularly appears on TV and radio, giving expert medical insight and advice on a broad spectrum of health matters. Dr Carol's special interests and also the reason Huggies® were so keen to work with her - are child and family medicine, twins, higher multiple births and nurturing.

As well as being a frequent and popular broadcaster on such topics, Dr Carol Cooper is a prolific writer of many health and parenting books. She is a practicing family doctor and mother of three sons, including twins – so she knows what’s she’s talking about!

Huggies® Natural Fit nappies are the only nappies which contain organic cotton and Vitamin E[1], giving your baby the comfort of a cuddle that lasts all day. The Oxytocin survey was commissioned by HUGGIES to emphasise the benefits of cuddling your baby and further educate and support parents with its findings.

HUGGIES® Natural Fit nappies are available in sizes 3, 4 and 5. They come in 2 pack sizes, convenience & economy packs. With a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of £9.98, the convenience packs contain the following numbers of nappies: Size 3 - 32 nappies, size 4, 26 nappies, size 5, 24 nappies per pack. With a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of £9.48, the economy packs contain the following numbers of nappies: Size 3 - 56 nappies, size 4, 48 nappies and size 5, 40 nappies per pack. Parents can also stock up with a Big Pack, with an RRP of £11.98 containing contain the following numbers of nappies: Size 3 - 78 nappies, size 4 – 64 nappies, size 5 - 58 nappies per box.

[1] Organic cotton is contained within the outer cover and vitamin E is contained in the baby side liner of Huggies® Natural Fit nappies

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