Via the lovely ladies at Independent Childbirth, I came across this slideshow presentation about skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding, and perinatal neuroscience by Dr. Nils Bergman. Lots and lots of amazing and useful information!
Super short summary of the 243 slides: babies NEED to be with their mothers following birth in order to develop proper neural connections and ensure healthy brain development and proper brain "organization." Mother's chest is baby's natural post-birth "habitat" and is of vital developmental and survival significance. Breastfeeding = Brain wiring.
It would be nice to see every NICU and hospital have an in-service about this.
I was lucky enough to hear Dr. Bergman present on this subject in person at the La Leche League International conference in 2007. (Indeed, I actually ended up "performing" on stage with him in a mimed play put on immediately prior to his presentation!) He is a dynamic and engaging speaker (with a great accent!) and has so much of value to share. I will never forget hearing his duet with an LLL Leader of the song "Anything Tech Can Do, Mum Can Do Better."
Yes she can, yes she can, yes she CAAAANNNNNN!!