Tag Archives: skin on skin


Kangaroology: The First Thousand Minutes

By Mary Esther Malloy after a lecture by Dr. Nils Bergman at New York University in February, 2016 (she apologizes to Dr. Bergman if she’s mottled his words. She was writing as fast as she could)


Neuroscience on the screen.

A packed room of maternity care professionals.

Our brains trying to understand our brains.

Once upon a time not so very long ago, Dr. Nils Bergman launched a mother-baby skin to skin revolution.

I get it, I think.  But I am about to be radicalized.

stock mama baby skin to skin

Dr. Nils Bergman speaks:

Skin to skin unlocks the neuroscience.

Think of the layered, interconnecting jungle where everything functions in relation to everything else. The brain is a jungle, not a computer.

There are more synapses at birth than stars in the universe.

He tell us

It matters how we are born…Early experiences fire and wire the brain…Pathways are connected…Networks make lights go on…Development is ordered…Foundations are laid upon which higher circuits can be built…Critical periods come and go in which aspects of our genetic inheritance are activated.

What is activated depends on the baby’s environment.

The environment tells our DNA:                                                                                                       The world is safe.                                                                                                                               Eat. Rest. Grow. Connect.                                                                                                                       Oxytocin flows through the circuitry.

OR Continue reading


Mother-led Skin to Skin: The First Minutes

Open Letter to Dr. Nils Bergman                                                                                     By Mary Esther Malloy

Your research has shown the world

a baby belongs on its mother,                                                                                                                     skin to skin.

You argue:

a baby on its mother,                                                                                                                                      it is where we lay the foundation for healthy people and healthy societies.

You say:

Skin to skin must start at birth,                                                                                                                     Skin to skin must be continuous.

Kangaroo Mother Care is not yet the bedrock of maternity care you’d have it be, but the world is listening. We are reconsidering one of the 20th Century’s grand experiments: the practice of separating mothers and babies at birth.

Now, when it is possible, a baby is delivered to its mother’s chest.

Immediate skin to skin.

But, what if we were to trust birth and women even further? What if, instead of delivering a baby immediately to her mother’s chest at the moment of birth, what if the midwife or doctor simply guides the baby down where she is born? …what if everyone pauses… and leaves the mother to initiate the skin to skin, on her time frame?

What might this look like? Continue reading