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Posted by Melissa Luhrman on August 30, 2016
Happy Babywearing Father’s Day!
We now have the proof! New research supports what we have always suspected – Babywearing is beneficial for dads too! Here is a summary of the findings of two recent scientific studies1,2.
Skin to Skin Contact is Good for Dads Recent research1 has shown that skin to skin contact is beneficial for both fathers and babies. Encouraging fathers to participate in providing skin to skin contact is important and should be promoted.
Babies’ benefits are - less crying, better vocal interactions and being more relaxed.
Fathers’ benefit are - growing their paternal role, better interaction with their babies and reduced stress and anxiety.
Active Parenting Changes Dads’ Brain Study2 has shown that a father’s brain function changes as he spends more time as a care-giver, igniting the neural network dedicated to parenting, and causing him to experience a wider range of parental emotions.
Brain scans show there is a ‘mothering network’ (emotion-processing structures) and a ‘fathering network’ (logical tasks related to social interaction).
The degree of connectivity between the two brain regions in all fathers correlated with the amount of time spent taking care of the child, suggesting that fathers' brains adapt to a more active parenting role.
In addition, the researchers also linked activity in all parts of the brain's parenting network to the release of oxytocin, which serves as the "love" and "bonding" hormone that rewards togetherness and caring.
There are lots of other benefits of babywearing for both mum, dad and baby, however it is great to see some real studies done on Dads and their babies.
Fathers Studies References
1Skin-to-skin contact by fathers and the impact on infant and paternal outcomes: an integrative review Shefaly Shorey, PhD, MSc, RN, RM (Assistant Professor), He Hong-Gu, PhD, MD,RN (Associate Professor), Evalotte Morelius, PhD, MSc, RN (Associate Professor)
2Father’s brain is sensitive to childcare experiences: Eyal Abraham, Talma Hendler, Irit Shapira-Lichter, Yaniv Kanat-Maymon, Orna Zagoory-Sharon, and Ruth Feldman