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You Want to Eat Your Baby? Here's Why

Mother's love
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Yes, your baby is cute. So cute even that you've probably wanted to eat him up.

Don't worry. You're not alone. In fact, a group of scientists says that it's totally normal that you want to devour your baby's cheeks—like, right now.

"Scientists at the University of Montreal found that a newborn's scent triggers the reward circuit in women's brains, causing the release of dopamine and activating the same part of the brain that craves certain foods," reports

It also didn't matter if the baby belonged to the woman. Apparently any sweet-smelling newborn would do.

For the experiment, the researchers picked two groups of 15 women—women who'd recently had a baby and another group made up of women who'd never given birth. When scientists presented both groups with newborn smells, "the mothers' brains had a stronger reaction," according to the site.

The scientists found that "the odor of newborns undoubtedly plays a role in the development of motivational and emotional responses between mother and child by eliciting maternal care functions such as breastfeeding and protection."

And while the urge may be strong, as noted, these women didn't actually eat their babies.

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