"Miracle Baby" Was Revived by Mother's Hug
Dr. Susan Ludington speaks to The Today Show about kangaroo care
Kangaroo care is skin-to-skin contact between mothers or fathers and their infants
Two years ago, The Today Show ran a story about the Ogg family, who feared their premature son Jamie had died shortly after birth. Yet when the baby was placed atop his mother's bare chest, he slowly began to revive. This touching experience gained international attention and brought renewed illumination on the practice of "kangaroo care," which is the parents' act of holding newborns skin-to-skin on their chests.
FPB's Susan Ludington, PhD, CNM, FAAN, the Carl W. and Margaret Davis Walter Professor of Pediatric Nursing, is credited for pioneering kangaroo care in the United States. While she tells Today that kangaroo care "does not resurrect the dead," she believes that it likely made little Jamie more alert.
In 2005, she explains, researchers identified a special set of nerves in babies that are “exceedingly sensitive” to pleasant human touch. Skin-to-skin contact with their mothers releases oxytocin, the so-called “cuddle hormone,” which affects multiple areas of newborns’ brains, Ludington says. The hormone makes their heart beat and breathing become more regular.