It is the mission of The Heart of Touch team to share with families, healthcare workers, and all who care about creating a healthier humanity the wealth of existing research on the value of skin-to-skin care. We are a community committed to advancing the necessary changes in our maternity care system to integrate immediate and continuous skin-to-skin in all birth settings.
Goals of The Heart of Touch:
- Inspire hope for a healthier humanity
- Define skin-to-skin
- Review the research on skin-to-skin
- Uncover barriers to practice
- Show examples of hospitals and birth centers that have integrated skin-to-skin care
- Encourage a public health movement where skin-to-skin becomes the standard of care for all newborns
Skin-to-Skin care benefits all babies. It is important for preterm and full-term infants.
- S2S care decreases crying
- Accelerates brain development
- Improves sleep & digestion
- Regulates temperature, heart rate, and blood sugar
- Supports breastfeeding
- Enhances Immune system
Skin-to-Skin helps Moms
- Reduces risk of postpartum depression
- Decreases risk of postpartum hemorrhage
- Increases milk supply
- Speeds recovery
Dads can provide Skin-to-Skin too
- Helps warm newborns
- Encourages bonding through the release of Oxytocin, increases protective behaviors even years down the road
- Increases feelings of calm and confidence in understanding babies cues
Angie Chisholm, CNM
"As a mother and a midwife, I am acutely aware of the urgency in which babies and mothers search for one another at the moment of birth. It is through the return of contact that they both feel safe."
Angie is a midwife in Oregon and the producer The Heart of Touch. After witnessing many skin-to-skin benefits, Angie became a kangaroo care advocate hoping to inspire shifts in maternity care to better integrate this practice in all birth settings.
Richard "Bhakti" Oyarzabal
"Having experienced skin-to-skin with my own children, it is important to me to share this story so that others can make informed decisions and enjoy this incredible time with their babies." Bhakti is active in the Northwest Film community and founder of Conscious Reel Productions. He specializes in storytelling and making an impact through film. He is the Director of a recent documentary (2015) Osha, which was filmed on location in Sierra Leone.
Susan Wegelt Heinz, DNP, CNM
Susan has been a midwife for over 30 years, and has had the privilege of attending births and providing holistic care to women in many different settings. She describes caring for women as a calling and passion – "it is what I do and part of who I am."
Susan follows her passions whole-heartedly which recently led her to open the Corvallis Birth and Women’s Health Center. Her dream was to create a space for women and families to gather and support each other. A place for women to receive and participate fully in their care, to be honored and loved, and for families to be born. Throughout her many years as a midwife and mother she has cherished the practice of skin-to-skin and has been instrumental in creating a culture in both hospital and birth center environments to support and encourage the practice.