Kangaroo care is a method of holding a baby that involves skin-to-skin contact. The baby who is naked except for a diaper and hat is placed in an upright position against a parent's bare chest then draped with blankets. Kangaroo care begins at birth and can be carried out throughout the newborn period. Mom or dad holding the infant skin-to-skin is best for all babies—physically, emotionally, mentally and socially.
McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital/TriHealth Obstetric department has supported this practice for many years. However, on April 1 our program "No Fooling...Kangaroo Care Is Good for Mom and Baby" will be our standard of care, and every mom and dad will be encouraged to participate.
The benefits of kangaroo care are numerous and have been demonstrated in research. Benefits for the baby include:
- Stabilization of the baby's heart rate
- Improved (more regular) breathing pattern
- Improved oxygen delivery to infants organs and tissues
- More rapid weight gain
- Better regulates the infant's body temperature and conserves the baby's calories
- Decreased crying
- Babies feel safe because they can feel the parent's warmth
The benefits to the parents include:
- Improved bonding, feeling of closeness for their babies
- Increased confidence in ability to care for their babies
- Increased confidence that their babies are well cared for
- Increased sense of control