Big brother helps with skin-to-skin contact

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A parenting and birth non-governmental organisation in Denmark, Forældre og Fødselposted a picture last year of a dad with his older son engaging in skin-to-skin contact with their family's latest additions - twins.

South African organisation, Neuroscience for Improved Neonatal Outcomes (NINO) Birth, recently had the image's caption text translated from Danish to English. It mentioned that while skin-to-skin contact isn't a new concept, Sweden is leading the way in this innovative practice. Babies weighing in at 700 grams or more can engage in skin-to-skin contact with a parent and may not have to be incubated.

The caption also stated that Swedish professor Uwe Ewald, went to Hvidovre hospital in Denmark to speak about his radical method and how small, premature babies are taken from their incubators to engage in as much skin-to-skin contact with their parents as possible, instead of being left on their own.

Ewald stated that a parent's chest regulates temperatures better than incubators. Skin-to-skin contact helps babies to improve breathing; children become more calm and they gain weight faster. Research has also shown parents bacterial flora, compared with hospital bacteria, reduces risks of serious infections in delicate children.

In a video clip with Johnson's Baby Sense, midwife Tina Otte advised that parents and newborns should engage in as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. It's imperative in forming a bond between baby and parents, baby feel more secure and therefore temperature is regulated, baby has better skin colour, better breathing patterns and cries less.

Otte also advised that the only reason for a mom and her baby to be separated, should either be a "compromised mommy or a compromised baby".

How important is skin-to-skin contact for you as a parent? Could you notice the difference in your baby's demeanour? Let us know, email chatback@parent24.com. 

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