Parents all over the world are gushing about a photo of a father and son lovingly practicing skin-to-skin contact with newborn twins.
As the newest additions to their family rest sweetly on their chests, the father and son resemble twins themselves.
Though it’s always heartwarming to see a dad caring for his newborn, it’s his own son that makes the photo so much more powerful.
As a proud big brother, the way he emulates his father is enough to make anyone tear up.
Originally shared on the Swedish Facebook page Forældre og Fødsel in 2015, the photo has since gone viral after it was translated into English and shared on the NINO Birth’s Facebook page.
As of this writing, the post has been shared over 34,000 times—on both pages, combined.
Comments of support and enthusiasm poured in from those who believed that skin-to-skin contact benefits both babies and caregivers, greatly.
“Spent two months with my son on my skin from morning until night. He was born 2 months too early. A beautiful experience!!!,” gushed one mom on facebook.
Another mom expressed how she wished she experienced it herself: “Oh how I wish I could have been able to hold my son like this when he was born at 31 weeks at 2.5 lbs. I hated having to watch him in the incubator and desperately wanting to hold him. This makes so much more sense.”
The practice, also referred to as kangaroo care,is “the practice of placing your unclothed baby on your bare skin, oftentimes to comfort, soothe, and promote bonding”.
More on the power of Kangaroo Care on the next page
More than giving us a striking, memorable image, the post’s accompanying caption gives more information on the practice of skin-to-skin contact in Sweden and how it benefits babies, especially preemies. Premature babies as small as 1.5 lbs. can be placed skin-to-skin with their parents.
Referring to the findings of a Swedish Professor, Uwe Ewald, the post states: “Even very small premature babies are taken out of the incubator to be skin to skin with their parents as much as possible. Premature babies, born three months prematurely, are put on the parent’s chest instead of alone in an incubator.”
Benefits go beyond bonding
More than facilitating bonding, Professor Ewald says that Kangaroo Care actually regulates a preemie’s body temperature more effectively than an incubator.
It also promotes better breathing and weight gain. Spending time on their parents’ chests also exposes premature babies to natural—good—bacterial flora.
But it’s not only preemies who benefit from skin-to-skin contact, even babies of all ages have been known to thrive better when held in this manner; it reduces their stress and promotes readiness for breastfeeding.
Parents don’t need a lot of convincing when it comes to holding their babies: just the feeling of cuddling a tiny version of yourself as you breath in that rare, priceless newborn-baby scent is enough for anyone to know it’s a truly special way for parents and babies to bond.
The fact that it has a host of benefits is just an awesome plus!
READ: Dads are now bonding with their premature newborns through ‘Kangaroo Care’
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