A touching photo of a father and son practicing skin-to-skin contact with newborn twins is highlighting the benefits of the practice.
The photo, shared on NINO birth Facebook page, shows a Danish father laying with his eldest son between his legs as they both comfort the twins on their chests.
“Skin-to-skin contact is not ‘new’, but Sweden certainly leads the way in making this care family-friendly, even for very tiny babies,” the caption read.
“I love this picture of big brother helping his dad care for the twins.”
The caption explained that in Sweden, premature babies are often placed on a parent’s chest instead of the incubator.
They explained that Swedish Professor Uwe Ewald claims a parent’s chest regulates the temperature better than an incubator.
“Skin to skin contact helps the baby to breathe better,” they explained.
“The child becomes more calm and gains weight faster.”
In the UK, the NHS states skin-to-skin contact can be hugely beneficial for premature babies.
“If your baby is in a neonatal unit in hospital after the birth, you’ll probably be encouraged to try kangaroo care,” they advise.
“This means that when your baby is ready, you can hold your baby against your skin regularly, usually under your clothes.
“This skin-to-skin contact helps you bond with your premature baby and increases your milk supply.”
The Facebook post has been shared nearly 18,000 in seven days since being uploaded on the 14 May.
Seeing the photo has encouraged other parents to praise the benefits of this practice.
“My son was born in the 28th week and we spent two months in the hospital practicing skin-to-skin contact,” one mother wrote.
“You need to remove your T-shirt and everything and it’s so wonderful – the baby learns how to breath by listening to your breathing.”
Another mother wrote: “My son was born at 29 weeks. He weighed three pounds and three ounces.
“He was in the NICU for seven weeks, but it was an amazing experience having skin-to-skin with child daily. He is a healthy and strong now.”