Father and son hold twins skin-to-skin in viral photo
There’s nothing like doing skin-to-skin with a brand new baby, but a touching photo is going viral for showing a whole new side to the practice. In it, a young boy emulates his father and engages in some skin-to-skin bonding with one of his premature twin siblings.
The photo was originally shared on a Swedish birth page, and it’s about a year old, but it’s gaining a massive amount of attention after being translated to English and shared anew on the NINO Birth Facebook page. The photo shows a young boy holding one of his siblings against his bare chest and resting on his father’s lap as the dad does the same thing with the other twin. Since the photo went up, it’s been shared over 17,000 times.
The photo’s caption explains how Swedish birthing facilities are going out of their way to make sure even the tiniest of premature babies gets skin-to-skin time with mom and dad (or sibling) — sometimes even when they’re as small as 700 grams, or about 1.5 pounds. It highlights the teachings of Swedish Professor Uwe Ewald, who says skin-to-skin — or “Kangaroo Care,” as it’s sometimes called in the U.S. — is vitally important to the health and development of premature infants.
“Uwe Ewald points out that a parent’s chest regulates the temperature better than an incubator,” the caption notes. “Skin to skin contact also helps the baby to breathe better. The child becomes more calm and gains weight faster. Research shows that parents bacterial flora – compared with hospital bacteria – reduces the risk of serious infections in these delicate children.”
Of course, the scientific benefits of skin-to-skin aren’t the only thing people love about this image. It’s pretty darn sweet to see a young kid so eager to bond with his siblings, and it’s refreshing to watch a father and son share such an emotional, special moment together, caring for the newest members of their family.
The sentimental shot inspired hundreds of people to leave comments about bonding and practicing Kangaroo Care with their own babies. Wrote one mom, “My son was born at 29 1/2 weeks. He weighed 3 pounds 3 ounces. He was in the NICU for 7 weeks. It was an amazing experience skin to skin with my child daily. He is a healthy and strong 12 year old today.”
Skin-to-skin is as much about bonding as it is about health benefits, and whether a baby is born prematurely or not, it’s a useful practice that should be encouraged with all newborns. Not only does it help regulate breathing and body temperature, but it also provides for sweet moments like the one captured here. After all, who doesn’t like a little newborn snuggle time?