Those of you who had loving caregivers, do you remember as a child running to her (or him) when you needed comfort? You had a sense it would calm you down, and it did. Here is evidence that it can be miraculous!
It turns out that mother's touch is lifegiving. In a dramatic case just in the news, a mother reports that after her baby was pronounced dead by doctors, he came back to life after spending time in her arms. Kate Ogg unwrapped the "dead" baby and held him on her chest. After some breast milk on her finger, he started to breathe normally. After two hours of talking to him he opened his eyes and grabbed her finger.
The ancient practice of skin to skin contact or "kangaroo care" is becoming popular in hospitals because the medical field is realizing how essential it is for human growth, whether you are a premature baby or not.
What does mother's touch do generally?
- It calms the infant (the best way to stop a crying baby is to pick her up).
- It keeps physiological systems "humming" (they deteriorate with physical separation).
- It helps establish good breathing, heart rhythm and self regulation.
The best thing to do for an infant is not put them down. The first three months after birth should be like an ‘external womb' as the brain's development continues, needing calm for optimal later functioning.