Skin-to-Skin: Mom’s First Gift

Mother’s Day is approaching and we may start thinking not just about what to give mom but what mom has given to us. Of all the gifts, her touch may be at the forefront. I discovered the power of this while reading about skin-to-skin care at the time of birth. It is then that our routines begin.

When a woman becomes a mother the practice of skin-to-skin care with baby can start a spiral of healthy bonding according to researchers in Norway and America. Placing the naked baby prone on the mother’s bare chest at birth or soon afterwards is part of what these researchers describe as optimal care.

Weeks later the newborns receiving skin-to-skin care expressed “happiness, peace and satisfaction.” This simple act can begin a lifetime of healthy, caring practices for mother and child. It makes me realize that skin-to-skin contact is a mom’s first gift to her baby. It is not just touching a baby that has this effect; it is a nurturing touch by mother.

I remember how mom touched my forehead to see if I had a fever. How her hand always reached for mine while crossing the street. Playing tug of war with our toes. Her hugs goodbye and hello.

 

Today, Moms are Stressed

Lots of moms are stressed according to a Today.com online survey of more than 7,000 mothers this week. Major stress factors reported are not having enough time to get done what they need to do, husbands, daughters, staying fit and attractive, and trying to relax. That’s right, moms are stressed about being stressed.

A good gift for mom this year may be a get away. Okay, you can’t send her to Hawaii but you can help her relax and get away from the everyday routine. A photo book of her doing the things she loves, a silky body cream (excuse the promo) and dinner at a favorite restaurant top my list.

A Pew Research report shows that 70% of the public believes it is more difficult to be a mother today than it was 20 or 30 years ago.  If you are younger than 30 be sure to give mom an extra hug.  (above photo: wayne evans | pexels)   

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