The Importance of Touch With Babies
When your baby is born, the nurses give the baby over to the mom and dad to hold, and then placed over the mom’s chest to provide skin to skin contact. Baby also will start to nurse on the breast. What moms need to know is that the milk has not come in officially yet, but the colostrum, which is comprised of protein and lower in fat and sugar. Colostrum is in the breast at the end of pregnancy until about 2-4 days after giving birth. Colostrum is also full of antibodies and other immune protection. You can compare it to a vaccination. That is why breast feeding is so very important to an infant’s life. It has been called Liquid Gold due to its yellowish color, which is the vitamin A. It is helpful for baby’s vision, skin, and immune system. It is also filled with minerals like magnesium, copper, and zinc. These minerals help the baby’s heart, bones, and immune system. It is much easier to digest for a baby than formula or breast milk. It is considered to be a healthier form of breast milk in the very beginning of life. Colostrum causes the baby to poop often, which is a blessing to remove any meconium that the baby has swallowed during birth. It cleans the colon out. It has always been interesting to me that our bodies have the very best knowledge on what to feed baby from day 1, as it changes to give baby what it needs.
Now take the nutrition that baby benefits by with colostrum and breast milk and multiply what benefits that baby gets from being held, talked to softly, and sung to while they are eating. Baby is feeling loved during this very special time that mom and dad feed her and is working towards associating feeding time with positive feelings.
Skin is the largest organ in your body and sends good and bad touch sensations to your brain. When you engage in pleasant touch, like a hug, your brain releases a hormone called oxytocin. This makes you feel good and firms up emotional and social bonds while lowering anxiety and fear.
Warm, affectionate physical touch is critical in developing a healthy attachment between parent and infant – helping to establish a long-term sense of worth and security. Healthy touch also supports a child’s physical growth, brain development and emotional resilience.
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