We often have preconceived ideas about what we see. I like to use the image below to illustrate this ... I will start by telling you that it is a picture of Bacchus, in ancient Roman times the god of wine. He has a beard and vine leaves in his hair.
However, if you look more carefully, you will see that it is something else. The vine leaves are real ones, part of a bower of leaves in the garden, and under the bower is a young couple embracing and kissing each other. The beard of Bacchus is actually their clothing.
Haahh ... you might eventually say when you see this!
This optical illusion is however exactly what I hope you will experience as you discover more about SKIN-TO-SKIN CONTACT.
The incubator and the technological NICU without parents is the old Bacchus, the old way of seeing things. It seemed good, and there was no other way of seeing it. But through the lens of modern neuroscience and new clinical evidence, the same thing looks very different. The human baby is not at all what we thought !! There is a developing brain there that is responsive to the environment, but only the right environment, meaning mother!
Another go! Below are two pictures, one of a beautiful horse, and one of an ugly frog.
If you look more carefully, you will see that it is the identical picture, only viewed from a different angle.
What we see happening to small babies in NICUs and Delivery Wards looks very different when viewed from the angle of modern neursocience.The perspective matters. And so it does matter which is normal, and which is worse than normal. Even if you love frogs more than ugly horses - your perception of beauty and normality is still relative.
With respect to optimal developmental outcome, the "normal" perspective is maternal-infant SKIN-TO-SKIN CONTACT.