Kangaroo Care (Skin-to-Skin)
Kangaroo Care (sometimes called skin-to-skin) is a special way for you to hold your baby. The NICU can sometimes make you feel isolated from your baby and Kangaroo Care may help with that feeling. This is a special time for you to share with your baby, and we look forward to supporting you with your Kangaroo Care sessions. Many NICUs practice Kangaroo Care, and research has shown that Kangaroo Care may benefit your baby in many ways. The name comes from the Kangaroo, which holds its baby in its pouch.
How can Kangaroo Care help my baby?
- Kangaroo care can help a premature baby gain weight faster.
- Babies cry less and sleep better.
- Babies’ heart rates, breathing patterns, and temperatures are more stable.
- Babies feed earlier and more successfully.
- Kangaroo Care may shorten your baby’s hospital stay.
- Kangaroo Care may decrease your baby’s risk of severe infection.
- Kangaroo Care may improve your baby’s brain development.
Research has shown that parents can benefit from Kangaroo Care:
- Kangaroo Care can increase a mother’s milk supply.
- Kangaroo Care increases the success and duration of breastfeeding.
- Kangaroo Care reduces maternal depression, anxiety and stress.
- Kangaroo Care helps with parent/infant bonding. Kangaroo Care allows you to feel more confident that you are helping your baby get better sooner.
Family bonding is very important. We like to give
Mom/Dad the first chance to begin Kangaroo Care, but
we certainly encourage involvement of older siblings or
grandparents. If your baby is tolerating regular sessions
of Kangaroo Care, Mom or Dad may ask about other
family members providing Kangaroo Care as visitation
Talk to your nurse or baby’s doctor to find out if your baby is ready to participate in Kangaroo Care. Kangaroo Care is good for mom, dad, and baby!