New Delhi : A mom's hug may do a lot more than putting a smile on the little one's face, but over 80 per cent of Indian mothers are not aware that an embrace has health benefits for their babies, a new survey has found. According to experts, a mother's hug can boost immunity, stabilise heart rate and maintain body temperature of the baby.
The survey also showed that 90 per cent of doctors believe that babies can recognise their mother's hug. Diaper company Huggies surveyed over 2,000 moms and 500 medical professionals in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata with the aim of unfolding the power of a hug between a mother and her baby.
About 76 per cent physicians feel that a mother's hug can improve the baby's immunity. It does not come as a surprise, considering how a hug is nothing less than a miracle tonic that can stabilise the baby's heart rate, strengthen the immune system, increase oxygen levels, and even reduce crying and stress, the company said. A mother's embrace initiates a cascade of hormones that can help in regulating the body temperature as well.
About 85 per cent of doctors, in fact, encourage moms to embrace their children more often, given the health benefits these have for infants. The survey also showed that despite the scientific backing and compelling research that supports the power of hugs, 80 per cent of mothers were not aware that hugging had health benefits for their little ones.
Even so, hugging their loved ones is an integral part of their bonding process. In fact, 90 per cent of Indian mother's express love for their children by embracing them, and 91 per cent believe that hugging them seven to eight times a day helps ease their baby's anxiety to a large extent. The survey states that 91 per cent of Indian moms also recall the first hug shared, and about 95 per cent said that they found immense relief and comfort when hugging their baby immediately after delivery.
"While most parents believe the benefits of hugs are purely emotional, this survey throws light on the numerous other benefits that stem from a simple embrace," said Prerna Kohli, a Mumbai-based clinical psychologist. "Hugs help in the development and growth of babies in multiple ways. Apart from the feel-good factor hugs offer, they also assist in making the child more emotionally secure and helps them grow into confident toddlers," Kohli said.