Working moms who can’t be home to help an upset child can take comfort in the fact that her voice over the phone is just as soothing as a hug, according to a new study from U.S. researchers reported in the BBC. In a study of more than 60 girls in a stressful situation, hormonal responses were monitored when they were either phoned or hugged afterwards. Their mother’s voice produced virtually the same amount of oxytocin, a stress-reducing hormone, as physical comfort, they found. Aged seven to 12, the girls were asked to make an on-the-spot speech and then solve math problems in front of a panel of strangers, which sent their stress hormone levels soaring. In one group, their mother was there to offer physical comfort immediately; in the other, the mother was waiting on the phone. A third group watched an emotionally-neutral film. Oxytocin rose in both groups to similar levels, but not in the film group.