Hugging is a way of expressing affection and love. But do you know that it can actually help a baby grow?
A clinical study conducted by Ohio’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows that a baby’s brain grows when being hugged.125 full-term and premature babies were involved in the study which aimed to find out how babies respond when being physically touched. Besides the parents, the hospital staff also showed affection to these newborn babies.
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The results showed that premature babies have a weaker response to affection compared to full-term babies. And among all the babies, those who were subjected to more affection by parents or hospital staff have stronger brain response.
Researcher Dr. Nathalie Maitre said that simple body contact matters a lot to the growth of a baby. Parents should hold, hug, or rock their babies in their arms whenever possible so they can grow healthier and happier.
Premature babies should receive more attention like skin-to-skin contact so their brain will respond like full-term babies. Maitre told Science Daily that full-term babies had experienced more love in their mother’s womb and premature babies should experience that too.
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Toddlers also demand a lot of attention at their age, especially if there’s a new baby at home. Busy parents must set aside some time to show them love and care.
And please don’t forget the grown-up “babies” around you. Even adults long to be touched and cared for. In a busy world today, there are many lonely people who even pay to get a hug, and that is really sad.
So make sure you give your beloved ones a hug even if they don’t ask for it. Don’t hesitate to give the stranger a hug when you feel he/she needs one. Let’s help make the world a better place, one hug at a time!
For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. (1 John 3:11, NIV)
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