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The Amazing Benefits of Skin to Skin for babies:

From birth and beyond skin to skin has been magical, helping stimulate breastfeeding after labour, calming Bonnie on teething days, regulating her temperature on summers days ????

Nils Bergman, a physician and researcher now working in South Africa, has shown kangaroo mother care to be beneficial in stabilizing and promoting the health of premature babies. He also pulls together work by other researchers to demonstrate its value for all babies. Bergman explains: “A newborn’s brain development depends on positive sensory stimulation. At birth, the sensations that tell the brain ‘I am safe’ are the mother’s smell, her movements and skin-to-skin contact. Also her voice, but that is not always there. When the brain does not get those sensations, it says, ‘I am not safe,’ and then it goes into a self-defence program. Yes, it keeps breathing and eating and digesting, but brain development is on hold.”

When the baby is in skin-to-skin contact with his mother, Bergman says, a natural process unfolds. “It stimulates a specific part of the newborn brain, so that two things happen. The baby will move to the breast, self-attach and feed; and secondly, the baby will open his eyes and gaze at his mother,” he says. The first step (getting milk) allows the baby to continue developing physically, while the second step ensures emotional and social development. “The mother’s body is the baby’s natural habitat, the place where development happens,” he adds.

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