Momma wren is feeding the brood constantly now; back and forth back and forth, all day long, babies carrying on the minute they see or hear her, and she has got to be thinking “grow up already?!!” With a loud call she scolds them to be quiet when she leaves, and one of them just can’t shut up. So cute I can’t stand it. Now my oxytocin is in full swing, a hormone we ladies make in response to cute little things. Women also make oxytocin during labor and breast feeding, during orgasm, and chatting with the gals, as it promotes social relationships. (Studies have found by the way, that it may be deficient in kids with Autism!). Men make it during sexual activity, which is why, since it’s a feel-good hormone, men don’t generally sit around yakkin’ with women, like the gals do; they’d rather, uh, lay around with them. Just as men do, the Poppa wren helps around the house, taking out the garbage, keepin’ an eye on the kids, chasing away the bad guys, and poppin’ a beer before the game. Males start to build the nest, and females rearrange it, as do the wrens. Yes they do: “you know, I think I like the look of that twig over there, no, over there, no, wrong color, honey go out and get me a green twig….” Our own wild Momma bird wren cares for her young in one of the two bird houses we put out on the deck. The first one was occupied by chickadees. The chickadees finished their family before these wrens, but not before arguing with the wrens over who gets to land where, who was here first, and where they’ll all go for dinner. We learned a lot about bird behavior. Not much different from us. As humans do, baby birds need protection from predators, so when bad, bad, super bad birds we think are House Sparrows, a third couple who took up residence close by, decided they didn’t like the chickadees in their territory, they removed the baby chickadees from their nest before they were done growing. I found them in various, don’t ask, places. Ask me how mad I got. I put three back in their bird house, but one had fallen down onto the deck instead of the ground. We didn’t expect it to live, but at least it died in the nest. To scare off the killer birds I put mylar strips up on the poles, which made the deck look like a parade float. Mama Chickadee flew around it like a hummingbird, checking it out on all sides, landing on top of it, deciding “no big deal”, because she never took English in school. But it did scare away the bad sparrows, and the two healthy babies fledged. Mama was coming back the last few times to see if the dead one was really dead. Hope springs eternal in momma-hood. Somehow the wrens tolerated the chickadees as neighbors after mediation, and now the wrens are left with their brood. We are entertained every morning, with all that activity. Neighbor Tim is entertained by me, carrying on like big bird. Can’t imagine why… In spring and early summer everything on this planet becomes very busy making new. New nests, new plants for the house, making babies, banging, hammers and tools for instance, some of you got that, some didn’t, and we all flock to Home Depot like lemmings. Why? Because, Lem, we are no different than the birds and bees, except we have health insurance. Or used to.Driven by hormones too, if we’re lucky enough to have proper amounts of such, life goes on; renewed every year. What hormones you ask? In not any particular order; progesterone, estrogen, prolactin, oxytocin, and even cortisol believe it or not, which I don’t. Hormones make one (or 2) want to make whoopee. Hormones keep mothers from throwing their own kids out of the nest. Hormones like oxytocin we all make, in response to “cute”. You can get away with murder when you’re cute. We know that hormones are responsible for Moms wanting to nurture and protect their young, but what about Dads? Well, here is some interesting news, Nana. Two studies show Dads undergo hormonal changes too. I happily quote studies because I’m happy today. “ In the best fathers, it turns out, testosterone levels actually drop significantly after the birth of a child. If manhood includes fatherhood, which it does for a majority of men, then testosterone is hardly the ultimate measure of masculinity.” “In fact, the second of the two studies, “ blah blah, “suggests that fathers have higher levels of estrogen, the well-known female sex hormone - than other men.!” Others had a rise in prolactin, a pro-lactation hormone. Some even have pregnancy symptoms, like morning sickness, weight gain, and a desire to wear the ribbon hat at their baby shower. Ok, not the ribbon thing, at least not at the shower, but here’s what they did. Blood was drawn from men before and after an experiment where they listened to a baby crying and watched videos of a newborn struggling to breast feed. In another they held dolls wrapped in receiving blankets worn by infants 24 hours before. I personally wish I could have been there for that, just to hear the conversations. “ does he sleep all night?” “he has your eyes I think”… Ok, so they go on: “What they found is startling: Men who expressed the greatest desire to comfort the (a) crying baby had the highest prolactin levels and the greatest reduction in testosterone. (Really?) And testosterone levels plummeted in those men who held the doll for the full half-hour.” OMG I can’t stand it now that I have a visual. And I imagine, though I don’t know, they did this with rats too, because they go on to say the following: “In human fathers, prolactin levels rose by approximately 20 percent during the three weeks before their partners gave birth”. Male rat, to another male rat: “You know that’s just a doll you’re holding. They’ll be back for it”. Other rat, “I’ll bite them; I won’t give it up while I’m nursing”.
Interestingly enough, so much so I hardly believe the study, in fact I don’t think I do. High levels of cortisol, a well known as a stress hormone, may also a good indicator of a mother's attachment to her baby.” This means that the stress hormone actually changes the way moms feel about their kids, the theory being that watchfulness is the word here. Oh great. Don’t you dare relax Alice, or you’ll get nailed for not having an “attachment” to your kid…Ok, back to the sex. (sex?): Testosterone levels in men are highest when working, watching sports, or having sex, which does come in handy for the sex, but does that explain Monica Lewinsky? I think not. But it does explain why you can’t unglue a guy during a game from the TV. Ladies, here is great potential for after-the-game fun. And what it also suggests, and I’m getting sick of the wussy word “suggest”, I must have high testosterone today, what it means is that both men and women are hard-wired to nurture as needed, and become aggressive as needed. Men who need to be with their kids after divorcing their mothers likely really need to be with them and nurture them, just as their mother does, it would “suggest”. So the take home is that we all, men and women, make all the hormones, and to keep it all going, they need to be at normal levels, or we won’t make nests and feed our young. There are salivary hormone tests available that measure the “free” levels which are the active parts of the hormones. It also can measure testosterone, estrogens, progesterone, cortisol, and melatonin. Because you may have an underlying hormone deficiency that may not show up in a blood test, which measures both the free and bound hormone, I like the salivary tests. Low progesterone, the pro-gestation hormone, can impact your ability to conceive. Low libido may be due to low testosterone or progesterone. There are natural products that can help. Don’t treat this yourself, because you can get scary results if not done right. Get your Docs involved, not with each-other, but with your problems, which is why they get paid I used to think. Without healthy hormones, those little bird parents wouldn’t be working so hard to keep their kids alive and well, and neither would we. La La La La, Life Goes On! More information? www.GoDrJo.com Copyright June 12 2010
Simply put, we women make estrogen from testosterone which is made from progesterone which is made from pregnenolone which is made from cholesterol. Lower your cholesterol too much and guess what Wendy? You may not make your hormones as well. And postmenopausal women, osteoporosis can be an imbalance of estrogen to progesterone problem, as can hot flashes.
Boys and men who don’t get enough zinc may have testicle and later prostate problems, and be adversely affected also by too many estrogen –like chemicals in the environment. An abundance of this unhealthy estrogen can be swept away in the digestive tract by fiber. We take a (Dr. Jo’s O’s) fish oil capsule to help make our own hormones, a couple of DIM’S to reroute bad estrogen, and pay no attention to that cholesterol behind the curtain, unless we have a blood test high in inflammatory markers, an article for another day.
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