What is Kangaroo Care? How does it work? Discover the emotional and health benefits of Kangaroo Care. And find out how Bambi Belt can simplify Kangaroo Care.
What is Kangaroo Care?
Kangaroo Care (or Kangaroo Mother Care) is defined by three thingsCONY:
- skin-to-skin contact between a mother or father and their newborn, where
the baby is vertically placed on the bare chest
- frequent and exclusive breastfeeding
- early discharge from hospital The benefits of Kangaroo Care are psychological, physiological and clinicalHA. The benefits of Kangaroo Care can be summarized as less stress, more healing.
Better parent-child bonding
Better mental and physical health
Babies grow faster and mature better through Kangaroo CareCONY. Babies that have increased skin-to-skin contact with their parents feel less pain, develop better attention and regulation skills, have an increased chance of survival, less risk of infections, heal better, and are earlier discharged from the hospitalCOMO. Parents should thus create as many skin-to-skin moments as possible because of the health effects - especially when their baby is admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Why Kangaroo Care works
The working of Kangaroo Care is no rocket science:
- Hearing their parent’s heartbeat and sensing their breathing automatically stabilizes their heart rate and respiratory rate and improves oxygen saturation rateNY. This relaxes them and makes them fall asleep on the parent’s chest, conserving caloriesHALU.
- The (mother’s) breasts can decrease or increase their temperature when the baby feels hot or cold CC. The comfortable temperature also relaxes the baby and makes them fall asleep. You virtually act as a human incubator.
- Through increased skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding will be easier established and prolongedNY.
Advice to new parents
- Don’t wear a bra. You can wear a long-sleeved unbuttoned blouse or an open bathrobe.
- You can keep yourself and your baby warm with a blanket, duvet or a long-sleeved unbuttoned blouse.
- Place your baby in an upright position on your chest.
- Breath normally and focus on your child. Slow down your breathing if you feel any stress or pain.
- Plan to lie down skin-to-skin for at least one hour.
Don’ts during Kangaroo Care:
- Don’t start when you don’t feel healthy or when you have skin issues on your chest.
- Don’t play with your baby. Let your baby rest and fall asleep.
- Put away your cell phone. This is distracting for your baby.
- Don’t use any perfume or heavy deodorant.
- Don’t smoke before Kangaroo Care.