Many Hospitals will offer you the opportunity of holding your baby once he is stable. Quite a number of these hospitals will offer a special opportunity for a cuddle called a Kangaroo Cuddle or Kangaroo Care. This is a great way for both parents to increase their bonding time with your premature baby.
Kangaroo Care involves the baby being placed directly on her father’s bare chest or between his mother’s breasts. The baby is in only dressed in a nappy and a blanket is then draped over your baby’s back. The skin to skin contact has benefits for you and your baby.
Kangaroo care can help your baby:
- Maintain his body warmth
- Regulate her heart and breathing rates
- Gain weight
- Spend more time in deep sleep
- Spend more time being quiet and alert and less time crying
- Have a better chance of successful breastfeeding
Kangaroo Care Offers Additional Advantages
- Parent’s Temperature Will Adjust to Stabilize Infant’s Temperature
- Statistically Premmies Held Skin-to-Skin Grow Better
- May Increase Milk Supply in the Mother
- Babies Develop a Stronger Bond with Parents
Ask your NICU staff about their policy on kangaroo care. Some NICUs postpone kangaroo care until the infant is medically stable, while others use it from birth onward. You may be a little nervous about trying kangaroo care. Especially if your baby is very small or sick, you may be afraid you’ll hurt him. But you won’t. Your baby knows your scent, touch and the rhythms of your speech and breathing, and he will enjoy feeling that closeness with you.
Kangaroo care has emotional benefits for you, too. Kangaroo care builds your confidence as you provide intimate care that can improve your baby’s health and well being. You are giving something special to your baby, that only you can give. By holding your baby skin-to-skin, you will feel the experience of new parenthood and closeness to your baby. Kangaroo care is healing in many ways, for both you and your baby.
Kangaroo care is safe and beneficial, even if your baby is connected to machines. Whatever your situation, kangaroo care is a precious way to be close to your baby. You will cherish this time.
The primary aim of PIPA is to provide practical and emotional support to the parents and families of premature infants. However we do not offer professional advice. We are parents of preterm baby’s and not medical staff. We do offer understanding, support, encouragement and friendship.