The benefits of skin-to-skin contact for prematurely-born babies have been known for a while, but the method is not always widely used.

Skin-to-skin contact with babies can help regulate their heartbeat, temperature, and breathing, encourage feeding, and reduce stress. It’s surprising that it’s not done more frequently.

A photo, originally posted with a caption in Swedish and recently reposted by the South African NINO Birth organization with the caption translated into English, shows a young boy helping his dad take care of his new twin siblings by holding one of them against his bare chest at Hvidovre Hospital in Copenhagen in Denmark.

The caption explains that Sweden is leading the way in making skin-to-skin care more common and family friendly. “Skin-to-skin contact helps the baby to breathe better,” the post reads. “The child becomes more calm and gains weight faster. Research shows that parents bacterial flora — compared with hospital bacteria — reduces the risk of serious infections in these delicate children.”

The post has since gone viral – it has been liked over 23,000 times and shared more than 18,000 times. Many mothers have commented on the post, either singing the praises of the skin-to-skin method or saying they wish they could have done that with their own children.

“I couldn’t hold my twins until one week after they were born,” said Emily Ann. “Our skin to skin contact was so bittersweet and will definitely never be forgotten.”

Stephanie Savole posted, “I love this and wish this could have been happening where I live when my daughter was born. I cried looking at her in that machine.”

One woman, Beth Eady, even wrote, “I want this to be my job. Come into nic[u], and snuggle babies when their moms and dad’s need a break to go get some sleep, shower, eat, etc. I want to be a professional baby snuggler.”

What do you think? Would you like to see skin-to-skin contact with premature babies become more common? So share this!