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Friday, July 26, 2013

Have You Heard of Kangaroo Care?

Have you ever heard of Kangaroo care?  According to the March of Dimes website, Kangaroo care is the practice of holding your diapered baby on your bare chest with a blanket draped over your baby's back, much like a baby kangaroo in a pouch.  This skin-to-skin contact has several benefits for both you and your baby. 

The benefits of Kangaroo care to infants include: maintaining their body temperature, regulating their heart rate and respiratory rate, gaining weight, spending more time in deep sleep, spending more time quiet and alert, and less time crying. Kangaroo care can also promote successful breastfeeding since it can increase mother's milk production. Research has also shown that this method of contact has positive effects on infant brain development.

Kangaroo care is not only for moms to participate in, but a way to get dads involved too! It's great bonding time for dad and baby.  Kangaroo care is primarily used on premature babies but don't hesitate to use this great bonding tool for your newborn infant.

By Kim Hillman, RN with NICU experience