The importance of touch
We are all immersed in a world of digital technology and remote communication. Has the action of touch suffered?
There have been many studies looking at the importance of human touch to healthy brain development.
“Experiments have shown that physical contact with parents actually has a biological effect on a baby. Shanker says, ”Early stimulation through touch influences the development of the various brain pathways—paths by which the brain transmits information throughout the body. Touch, in particular, influences the pathways that help people cope with stress and recover from emotional upset.”
This doesn’t mean you have to carry your child every second of babyhood or that some sort of perfect nurturing is necessary for brain development. But it does show that the saying “You can’t spoil a baby” is even truer than we thought. Physical contact like cuddling not only helps babies feel comforted and secure, it plays an important role in helping their brains develop to full potential.”
Stuart Shanker, co-author of Early Years Study 2
They have also shown that slow stroking or a gentle touch can have profound effect on the brain’s ability to connect with the body and develop a healthy awareness of ‘self.’
It is also human instinct, when something hurts to give it a rub!
I know that there is more emphasis on ‘skin to skin’ contact in hospitals, especially with premature babies. The parent and baby exchange their senses and the baby calms, breathing becomes natural and rhythmic & body temperature is maintained naturally. There can be positive effects to breastfeeding. Baby is less likely to cry by reducing the baby’s stress hormone – cortisol and increasing the happy hormone – oxytocin.
This bonding can help with post-natal depression and can be an activity for Dads too, increasing their bonding.
The Importance of Touch benefits
- Helps build trust and shows security
- Connections and bonding will develop
- Provides a thriving environment
- Enables stable growth and development
- Gives emotional support to both parent and baby
- Physical benefits can develop due to lowering of heart rate and blood pressure and increasing ‘feel good’ hormones that can decrease illnesses and increase the body’s ability to fight infections and disease
- Can decrease anxiety, temper and depression
Find out more – FREE TALK at Inspiring Health in Falmouth
Natural Health – Mums and Babies
- The importance of touch…
- How can massage and reflexology help me through my pregnancy and assist in childbirth?
- Baby massage
- Natural first aid tips for colic, teething, coughs & colds
Wednesday 9th November 2016 10.30am – 12 noon