Ava and Austin Jayson’s mother believes a hug helped to save her twins’ lives.
The British twins were born 13 weeks early in 2015 and initially struggled to survive, the Daily Mail reports.
Their mother, Krystina Lake-Jayson, said her water broke when she was 27 weeks pregnant with the twins.
“I was really panicking,” she remembered. “[My husband] Luke rushed me to hospital and a scan confirmed that I was in labor and I needed an emergency cesarean to deliver the babies. I was devastated.”
In May of 2015, the Stevenage, Hertfordshire mom gave birth to Ava, weighing 2 pounds, 1 ounce and Austin, weighing 2 pounds, 4 ounces, according to the report.
The parents’ fears grew as the twins struggled to survive during the first few weeks after their birth.
Here’s more from the report:
Both were still weak and struggling to breathe weeks later – until they were put in the same incubator at the request of their mother, Krystina, and immediately placed their arms around each other.
From that moment, their oxygen levels started to shoot up and their conditions improved dramatically.
There is no scientific explanation for the sudden change in their health – although many parents of twins believe in what has become known as the ‘rescuing hug’.
Similar to the way a premature baby’s heart rate and breathing can improve with prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a parent, it is thought the comfort of physical closeness can work wonders not yet understood by experts.
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Lake-Jayson said the twins’ conditions improved from that moment on. She said they kept looking at each other and clinging to each other.
“It really was a miracle. They had been apart since they were born prematurely,” Lake-Jayson said. “It was as if they knew they were together again and they were pulling each other through.”
The twins are 2 years old now, and still very close.
“They were together in the womb and they stick together like glue now,” their mother said. “Their bond has been the best medicine for them.”
The twins are not the first premature babies who benefited from a “rescue hug.” Preemie twins Brielle and Kyrie Jackson received a lot of attention in 1995 when their condition improved after being placed in an incubator together. One of the twins was not expected to live, but a hospital nurse fought to put them in the same incubator. The stronger baby wrapped her arm around her sister, and her touch allowed the struggling baby’s heart to stabilize and her temperature to return to normal.
Today, they’re all grown up. In 2014, CNN reported their sister bond still is strong.