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ecobrief I


THE NEUROSCIENCE OF SKIN-TO-SKIN CONTACT


nternational Babywearing Week, from October 7 to 13, pro- motes Kangaroo Care, a technique in which an infant wearing a cloth diaper is held, skin-to-skin, bare-chest to bare-chest and ventral-surface to ventral-surface, by the mother, father or others. The event is sponsored by Babywearing International, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) as a universally accepted practice. KMC for premature infants right from birth was imple-


Naples resident Lyn Hunter with her twins


mented by Nils Bergman, M.D., resulting in dramatic improvements in the survival of premature babies. According to Bergman’s studies, the maternal-infant skin-to- skin contact is the essential developmental environment for DNA and the brain, both of which are exceptionally active in development before normal birth in pre- term infants. The more preterm the baby, the more skin-to-skin contact is needed. “Newborn care provided by closed servo-controlled incubators results in worse


physiological outcomes and stability than the same care provided in skin- to-skin contact on the mother’s chest,” reports Bergman, who emphasizes that skin-to-skin contact is for all newborns. As children grow, a cloth baby


sling or baby carrier can be used to car- ry the child on the front, hip or back. Parents have options ranging from the ubiquitous frontpacks to lesser known, but more comfortable, functional and attractive baby carriers designed by work-at-home mothers that are experi- enced babywearers.


Resource: Eco-Baby and Home, 2355 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Ste.150, Naples. For more information, call 239-596- 2661 or visit BabywearingInternational. org. See ad, page 57.


natural awakenings


October 2013


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