The Importance of Human Contact for Infants

21 Nov

Janet Ibru serves as the executive manager of CASI Global Investments Corporation in Dubai. Understanding the importance of giving back to the community, she has spent time caring for infants without mothers in Nigeria.

In their early days of life, infants require significant and extended contact with humans. This contact triggers the release of hormones necessary for body temperature regulation and good health. Through human touch, a baby’s body reduces its levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which promotes better sleeping patterns. In addition, studies have shown that consistent human contact correlates with reduced levels of fear and anxiety later in life.

Issues associated with lack of human contact can be especially pronounced in orphanages, where infants can only receive adequate attention with the help of volunteers from the community. Studies have shown that newborns can actually die from lack of contact, even if provided with adequate shelter and nutrition. This fact alone speaks to the importance of organizations and volunteers who provide care for infants without parents or dedicated guardians.


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