Most new parents get to bond with their babies immediately after birth, but a small percentage of parents whom have given birth prematurely may have to wait weeks or months before ever holding their baby. Thanks to a technique called “Kangaroo Care” however, parents of premature babies are able to hold their newborns much sooner and help their little ones at the same time. Touch has a powerful effect as it helps to establish a sense of attachment for both parents & baby.
Kangaroo Care can help reduce some of the stress of the NICU as well as the fear and nervousness parents may feel about handling their baby. The benefits prove that this is something that all parents should be encouraged to do with their newborns. Those benefits include; lower levels of infant stress, parents feel more confident & more relaxed when handling their baby especially when attending to their babies “cares”, improved oxygen saturation levels & slower breathing whilst the most important benefit is that it improves bonding.
In a typical Kangaroo Care session, the mother or father relaxes in a chair while the nurses slowly transfer the baby, still attached to any tubes or cords, from the bed onto the parent’s bare chest. Screens are usually provided for privacy if you wish. Once the baby is settled, the nurse will either place a blanket over the baby’s back or help the parent button their shirt around the baby. The rise and fall of the mother’s chest as she breathes and the sound of her heartbeat provide a soothing rhythm for the baby. The mother’s body warmth keeps baby comfortable and feeling safe. To soothe your baby use slow firm strokes, with the pads of your fingers. If you make quick light finger strokes your baby might become irritated because this type of touching is too stimulating.
Kangaroo Care will depend on how stable your baby is on the day. If you are still expressing, this kind of skin-to-skin contact has been proven by many mums that it can help to boost your milk supply. Some hospitals allow babies who are either on oxygen or weigh below 1800 grams to share this special time with their parents. Always seek direction from your babies care providers.
Pregnancy Today – retrieved 2007
The subject matter provided in these articles is strictly for informational purposes alone and should never be used in the place of a doctor’s advice. Please ALWAYS contact your doctor if you ever have questions or need advice in any area where medical advice is needed or medication is suggested.