January-February 2018 – Researcher and psychoanalyst Erica Komisar drew upon years of study in psychology, neuroscience, and epigenetics to author her new book, Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters. The main premise of Komisar’s book focuses on the central nervous systems of babies and toddlers under the age of three. First of all, Komisar found babies do not have a fully developed central nervous system at birth. Instead, the mother’s central nervous system compensates for the baby’s lack.
Komisar discovered that every time a mother comforts and cares for her baby, the “love hormone” oxytocin increases within the baby’s body. And the more oxytocin produced by children at a young age, the better the child will be able to regulate his/her own emotions throughout life. Also, Komisar determined that care and comfort from sources other than the mother do not replace this emotional development. Infants in daycare displayed much lower levels of oxytocin than infants who spent more time with their mothers.