A nurse recently shared a moving photo of a tiny premature baby grabbing onto her hand while she changed the baby’s diaper.
LifeNews.com reports that the baby was born prematurely at just 26 weeks. The photo shows the tiny infant reaching out a delicate hand to touch the much larger hand of the nurse.
“I was changing her nappy and she just held on to my hand,” the nurse wrote on Figure 1, an app for medical professionals. “I had to stop and just let her. Human touch is so important [to these babies].”
Professor Craig Jackson, a psychologist at Birmingham City University, noted that the baby likely really was craving human touch and reached out on purpose.
“As for the baby here ‘responding’ to the nurse’s touch, it is likely she actually did,” said Jackson. “Babies crave close contact because they need to recreate conditions experienced before birth.”
Although the nurse said her hospital now requires nurses to wear gloves when caring for the babies, some hospitals are beginning to adopt direct contact between mothers and their premature babies due to these infants’ need for physical contact.
Research has even been done to determine that premature babies who had skin-to-skin contact were doing better years later than those who did not.
The baby in the photo is now a healthy 14-pound nine-month-old baby.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: March 15, 2017