Kangaroo care is a method in which a mother holds her baby by skin-to-skin contact. The naked baby except wearing the diaper is placed in an upright position against the bare chest of parents. Kangaroo care can be given to the baby by both the mother and father. It is often done for premature infants even when they are in the hospital.
What is kangaroo care?
When you hold your baby close to your chest you feel a special experience that helps you build the bond between you and your baby. This touch is not only good for bonding but it is also medically beneficial for your infant baby. Kangaroo care is a method of holding your baby to your chest which is also a part of Newborn care after delivery. This allows skin-to-skin contact with your baby. In every session, you can place your baby on your chest for a few hours using a blanket, gown, or shirt wrapped around you and your baby for warmth. This wrapping looks much similar to the mother kangaroo holding her baby in her pouch.
When Did Kangaroo Care Come Into Action?
In the late 1970s, Kangaroo care was developed in Bogota, Colombia. The death rate of preterm babies was approx 75% at that time and Kangaroo care was a response to the high death rate. At that time the babies were dying of respiratory problems, infections, and some due to a lack of attention. Researchers found that babies that were held close to their mothers for a large time period not only survived but thrived.
In the United States, parents are encouraged for kangaroo care with their preterm babies for several hours every day. However, it is not only for premature babies but it is also good for full-term babies and parents as well.
What are the Benefits of Kangaroo Care?
There are many benefits of Kangaroo care that are discussed below:-
The benefits of Kangaroo care to your baby include:-
- It helps in stabilizing the heart rate of your baby,
- Improves the breathing pattern of your baby,
- Improves the level of oxygen saturation so that it is being delivered to all of the organs and tissues of the infant,
- Helps to gain sleep time,
- Rapid weight gain,
- The decrease in the cry,
- Successful breastfeeding,
- Gets earlier hospital discharge.
The benefits of Kangaroo care for Parents include:-
- Improves your bond with your baby.
- Increases the supply of breast milk.
- You get the confidence to care for your newborn baby.
- Also, increases your sense of control.
When a mother practices Kangaroo care, her infant snuggles into her breasts and gets in to sleep within a few minutes. The breasts of the mother themselves have been shown to change in temperature to match the needs of baby temperature. In other words, the temperature of your breasts can increase when your baby’s body is cool and can decrease when your baby is warm. The extra sleep that your baby is getting while snuggling helps in regulating the body temperature of your baby. So that the energy could be conserved and calorie expenditures can be redirected for weight gain and overall growth. Research has also shown that kangaroo care does have a positive impact on the brain development of your baby.