A picture of a young boy and his father caring for the family’s premature twins went viral on social media. The “instinctual” skin-to-skin method is highly praised and is widely used around the world.
The little boy in the picture is from Copenhagen in Denmark. He was helping his father care for the family’s prematurely born twins, as his mother needed to rest. They were using the skin-to-skin method at the Hvidovre Hospital, which is believed to be the best way to care for premature babies.
This endearing photo first surfaced on Swedish Facebook page Forældre og Fødsel in 2015. A year later, the picture was shared on South Africa-based NINO Birth’s Facebook page with the caption translated into English.
The caption states: “Revolutionary and innovative practices in Uppsala, Sweden. Children of 700 grams can be skin to skin on the parent’s chest instead of the incubator.”
One Facebook user, Therese Mutka Lindborg, commented on the photo: “Our son is a 22weeker (22+2). He was only 415 gram. He was born in Uppsala and on the 4th day we got to kangaroo. He had lost some weight then and was only 396 gram. In his most difficult times we kangarooed him 13-17 hours/day to get him to stabilize and so he did. We know for sure that our son lives thanks to skin-to-skin care.”
The skin-to-skin method or Kangaroo Care is as the name suggests inspired by the kangaroo. A kangaroo carries its joey inside its pouch, which provides the necessary warmth. This instinctual technique, which has in fact been used for a long time, is now being widely adopted in hospitals for newborn care. The baby is held close to its parent’s body, typically its mother, which aids the baby’s growth and healing process.
This method is primarily used for preterm babies who have low birth weights, since they are more prone to suffer from hypothermia. The human warmth that they receive improves the stability of the heart and their breathing rate. It also stimulates the urge of the baby to eat either through breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
These touching photos have gone viral on social media, with the first one receiving over 23,000 shares. Many netizens commented on the photo by sharing their positive experience with skin-to-skin or “kangarooing,” while others complimented the little boy for being such a good son and for helping out the family. The parents were also applauded for rearing their son with love and affection.
“Nice to see and know that many hospitals around the world is practicing this,” wrote Facebook user Shobha Kinagi.
Another user, Amanda Haskins Maldonado, wrote, “I did alot of skin to skin for the first couple of months when my daughter was born and it gave us such a close bond.”
“I love this pic that big bro is involved of the care of the twins. Big bro won’t feel left out but an actual part to help his parents and siblings. Other kids might feel left out and helpless when they can’t be part of this. So my hat off to the hospital and to big bro <3,” wrote Fung Kathy Fung-Ching Cheung.
This father and son tandem will surely be able to provide the twins with all the necessary warmth and quality bonding time that they need, something they’ll certainly recall later on in life.
Watch the video: