I received the following letter from a pediatrician in the Philadelphia area. Have a gander!
Much has been learned about the importance of skin to skin contact between mothers and newborns immediately after birth. There seems to be good evidence showing that the transition from fetal to neonatal life is eased. Temperature, breathing and sugar regulation all seem to improve. Bonding and breast feeding are also enhanced. Some hospitals have even instituted the “sacred hour” where mothers and infants are left undisturbed to enable and support this power of touch. Where are fathers in this process? Despite the lack of studies, it is incomprehensible that skin to skin contact between fathers and infants has not been more widely encouraged. Infants (if not all humans and animals) crave closeness and connection. It is obvious that fathers are as able to provide this as mothers. Fathers also benefit from this touching with deeper bonding and can begin to learn to attend to behavioral cues from their infant. Parents can then share their experiences of the infant with each other, supporting the development of the new family. A shirt specifically designed to promote this type of critical experience, like the DadWare Bondaroo is very welcome.
Florence N Manson MD