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Study Says There Is No Such Thing As Holding Your Baby Too Much

By Andrew Alpin, 29 May 2018

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6It’s never too late to start

Even if you haven’t yet started touching your baby more often, it is never too late to start stated lead researcher Dr Naithalie Maitre. Starting late won’t make a difference and it will yield a host of good benefits she said. 

Mother child sleeping

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7Studies have proved similar benefits for animal babies too

In fact, not just for human babies, similar research has proved that the same applies to animals from rat pups to dogs and cats. The bottom line is that touching and contact is extremely crucial for a baby’s brain development. 

Koala with baby

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8Premature babies should be always exposed to parental touch

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Dr Maitre explained that parents should ensure their babies especially premature ones are constantly exposed to supportive and positive touching such as skin to skin contact and care by both parents. This is extremely important for developing their cognitive abilities and brain health. Preterm babies should be made to allow their brains to respond to such contact in the same way babies who have had a full term have experienced in the womb.

Cuddling infant

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9Hospitals should provide such experiences in absence of parents

Dr Nathalie Maitre of Nationwide Children's Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center also said that” When parents cannot do this, hospitals may want to consider occupational and physical therapists to provide a carefully planned touch experience, sometimes missing from a hospital setting." Her research was published in the journal current Biology in March. This was especially targeted to the almost 15 million premature infants spending long periods of time in NICU (neonatal intensive care units). 

Research on new born

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10Physical therapists could also help

In fact the research went on to state that touching and parental contact with premature and full term babies had lifelong benefits. If parents aren’t able to provide such things, then hospitals need to bring in physical therapists to provide the gentle touch experience that is usually missing from a hospital atmosphere and setting. 

Physical therapists

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