When 'skin to skin' becomes a family affair

The dad and son each held one of the twins skin-to-skin.
The dad and son each held one of the twins skin-to-skin.  Photo: Facebook

It is possibly the cutest ever example of a child being their parent's mini-me.

An adorable photo of a little boy and his dad enjoying skin-to-skin contact with newborn twins is melting hearts everywhere.

The picture was first shared by a Danish family advocacy group, along with a caption explaining the part skin-to-skin contact can play in the care of premature babies. 

"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 reads,

"Revolutionary and innovative practices (mean) children of 700 grams can be skin-to-skin on the parent's chest instead of the incubator."

"The parent's chest regulates the temperature better than an incubator. Skin-to-skin contact helps the baby to breath 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."

The benefits of skin-to-skin contact, also known as kangaroo care, have long been appreciated and the practice is observed in maternity hospitals across Australia.


In practical terms, skin-to-skin simply means placing the baby on to the mother's chest immediately after the birth, so the baby's skin is in direct contact with the mother's.

Similar benefits also result from a baby having skin-to-skin contact with their father or another family member.

"Most people think of skin-to-skin as a way of bonding with the baby. But there are lots of other reasons to do it," Australian midwife Lisa Berson told Essential Baby.

"Studies have shown that skin-to-skin can assist in increasing or maintaining a baby's temperature following the birth, or if the baby is receiving treatment in the intensive care unit of the hospital."