The Mother’s Miracle Touch

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139: 13-14 (ESV)~

I remember the wonderful feeling on my belly–the squirming child who was recently inside me was now wiggling on me.

That happened four out of five times. One of my babies came so quickly I didn’t have a sterile drape on me to receive the child. (I warned them, but did they listen?)

None of my five were premature. But a preemie (and sometimes a full-term baby) born today is likely to receive “Kangaroo Care”–their parents will hold them skin to skin. This practice provides warmth and connection for the babe. Mother’s (or Father’s) body heart, voice, heartbeat are all conduits to connection.

The practice began in Bogota, Columbia, when incubators were scarce and babies in distress were in great supply. The mortality rate plunged from 70 to 30 percent. Since then, the practice has become more widespread–even when incubators are readily available.

The most interesting aspect of the ensuing research I’ve found is that, during the skin to skin time with the baby on or between the mother’s breasts, the breasts change temperature to accommodate the baby’s needs–even going so far that, with preemie twins, one on each breast, the breasts achieve different temperatures to accommodate each baby’s thermal need.

How amazing!

One mother reports using Kangaroo Care with her adopted newborn daughter–allowing the baby to get used to the mother’s body rhythms–to feel and smell her new mother–to get used to the sound of this previously unheard voice.

But the benefits aren’t just for the babies.

One study discusses the effects of Kangaroo Care (KC) for adopting parents. “During KC the mother’s perception of her infant changes: She feels more competent as a care provider, more responsible for her infant, and more in control of her situation.”

Now I think back 35 years to the last time I felt my baby on my belly–warm and wet through the drape.

These were the days when it was still okay to dispense aspirin even to infants and put them to sleep on their bellies. In spite of all we’ve learned, perhaps there is more yet to learn.

We may just be on our way to discovering how healthy human connections come to be from the beginning.

One of those ways–Kangaroo Care–highlights the deft hand of a loving Creator. The Creator who installed a heating and cooling system in the breasts of mothers–the mother’s miracle touch.

We are indeed wonderfully made.

Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his –Psalm 100:3a~

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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22 Replies to “The Mother’s Miracle Touch”

  1. You’ve brought back beautiful memories. I was a childbirth educator and lay midwife apprentice. Other than my baby born by cesarean, I got those babies up in my belly skin-to-skin as soon as possible. My cesarean baby I had my husband place cheek to cheek with me, so our skin could touch. With all, breastfeeding as soon as possible, establishing that first essential bond of touch. The more we learn about these nurturing essentials, the more astonishing we find God’s design to be!

    1. Yes, Melinda. These tidbits of science point us to God-Creator rather than evolutionary chance. Thank you for sharing your experience and memories. God bless!

  2. Our son is 35 years old. I can still recall the feeling of him moving around during my pregnancy. What a joy to feel his precious movements. 🙂

  3. Not only the temperature adjustments, but mother’s milk is a miracle, too. What a newborn gets is the perfect balance of nutrients for a newborn. A three-month-old has different needs, but the breastmilk has changed to fit those needs. Even a one-year-old that is still nursing is getting exactly what (s)he needs at that age. Evolution? … Yeah, right.

  4. I never knew that a woman’s “breasts change temperature to accommodate the baby’s needs.” That is very interesting. It makes sense. I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) that orphanages in Russia allow missionaries to come and hold babies so that they will have that human touch. They found that they thrive vs. die. It’s incredible. God has made us for connection, not isolation.

    1. So true, Marcie! And that connection begins in the womb, which makes abortion even more horrible and damaging to the mother. It’s sometimes so hard to see the purpose in following His ways. But little facts like the mother’s breasts accommodating the baby’s need help show us the way. Thanks and God bless!

  5. Reading about Kangaroo Care brings tears to my eyes!!! I love how God designs mother and child perfectly for each other to thrive in love. Praise God for this beautiful reminder!

  6. Simply beautiful, Nancy. And how amazing about the mother’s breasts adjusting to thermal needs of twins! The Creator knew what to do “ahead of time” in every situation known and unknown to man.

  7. Haven’t experienced this myself, of course, but I was acutely aware of it occurring with my wife and each of our children.

  8. Hey I really like your content. I can relate, I have a child who is not biologically mine but I treat her as she is. I am adopting her soon, it has not been finalized yet. Please check out preemiesandfamily.com for relatable content, it is my blog on our premature child and family. Thanks!

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