This is a throwback blog, enjoy!
In my childbirth education class (with Jeanette Mesite Frem of Babies in Common) we were told a lot about the benefits of skin to skin contact with babies immediately after birth. We were educated on the continued benefits of skin to skin contact throughout the first days, weeks, months, even years of baby’s life. The benefits of such a simple, natural endeavor seemed so great. The contact has been proven to regulate baby’s breathing, heart rate, and temperature, to stimulate digestion, feeding, and growth, and to solidify a bond with caregivers (be it mom, dad, or someone else). So of course, we planned on lots of skin to skin with Baby E when he was born.
But being a massage therapist, and wellness geek, I started to wonder if skin to skin contact had benefits for non-infant humans. In my mind it only made sense. If you have had massage from a skilled, nurturing therapist, you have probably felt the relief that touch can bring, not just to sore aching muscles, but to an aching mind, heart, or soul. You may have even experienced some benefits such as improved immunity, blood pressure, or digestion.
We live in a culture that shys away from nurturing, loving touch. The media tends to represent touch in one of two ways, sex, or violence. Our children are told not to hug and cuddle each other in schools. We are plugged in constantly to devices that are inhuman, thinking that we are connecting socially through tools such as Facebook and Twitter. The truth is we are out of touch with how much touch we really need.
So go ahead educate yourself. Click some of the links on this page, and find out why skin to skin contact is so important for humans. Read here about a mom who brought her baby back to life with touch. Then go do it. Get a massage, even if your muscles aren’t sore. Hug a neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member. Snuggle your children, or offer to give them a massage. Don’t know how? Ask me, I’ll teach you.
It’s time that we as humans remember how to really connect with each other. It’s time that we show each other some love and kindness. I’m on a mission to bring healthy touch back into our social norm, will you join me?