Kangaroo Care is when a baby is placed in contact with their parent's chest, like a baby kangaroo in its mother's pouch. This allows your baby to smell you and hear your heartbeart (as they did in the womb) and gives a lovely feeling of contact between parents and baby.
Kangaroo care tends to keep babies warm better than simply wrapping them in blankets and holding them. This means that they can stay out of their incubator for longer.
Research has found that kangaroo care can have some very positive effects on a baby's health, such as:
- improved milk production for mothers
- babies tend to sleep deeply after kangaroo care which encourages growth, weight gain and development
- kangaroo cuddling can calm a baby's breathing and improve the amount of oxygen in the blood.
You may feel anxious about pulling the lines and wires attached to your baby, but nurses will lift the baby out of the incubator for you and make sure that everything is safe.
- Talk to staff and plan a good time for kangaroo care, and a comfortable place to sit.
- It is recommended that parents wear a blouse/shirt that has buttons down the front. Mums may like to remove their bra to make it easier for baby to snuggle against their skin.
- Kangaroo care is often 'skin-to-skin' care, although babies don't need to be undressed if this will upset them.
- Baby should be cuddled in an upright, chest-to-chest position. If possible, button your shirt around baby to enclose him or her and keep their temperature stable.
- Screens can be used if parents would like some privacy.
The cuddle that boosts premature babies' IQ
Source: Daily Mail
"It has been claimed that a new technique for holding newborn babies, known as 'kangaroo mother care' or KMC, can increase a premature child's intelligence and make them less prone to ill-health. The technique involves a nappy-clad baby being placed on a parent's unclothed chest for a few hours. The idea behind the technique, which takes its name from the way in which kangaroos hold their young in a pouch next to their bodies, is that mothers become a human incubator, keeping the baby warm, stimulated and fed. Doctors at Laval University in Canada conducted research into the effectiveness of the technique, and found that premature babies nursed in this way experienced a number of health benefits".
Kangaroo care counters the cold
Source: BBC News
"Hugging a baby can restore its body temperature faster than a high-tech incubator, researchers have found. 'Kangaroo care' is researchers' nickname for skin-to-skin (STS) heating, a technique used to protect a baby from hypothermia".