Kangaroo care, also known as skin to skin care, is an amazing way for a mother (and/or) Father to bond with their premature child. Most full term babies are encouraged to have skin to skin contact for reasons such as Calming, easier breastfeeding, and even attachment. But for a tiny Preemie, this care is so much more than that. Kangaroo care is a way to regulate heart rate, temperature, and even oxygen levels, as they are close to a very familiar body and smell. It also is an amazing way to bond. Having a child early, means your body, mind and hormones aren’t exactly “ready”for birth, yet they’re pushed to do so anyway. Having that skin to skin with your child helps release those hormones that stimulate breast milk supply, calm your body as well as your baby, and increase the sense of “Normalcy” that all of us preemie parents strive for. Babies as early as days old are usually allowed to have this care, and many NICU’s are equipped to allow babies on Vents, CPAP, oxygen and feeding tubes to enjoy this with their parents. As your baby is stabilized and calm, it increases the depth of sleep, which for a premature baby is CRUCIAL (our nurses used to tell us how if our preemie was sleeping she was growing!).
I’m not sure if ALL preemie moms get the chance to Kangaroo with their little ones, but it is an amazing feeling to hold your tiny child. To feel your baby’s skin, hands, feet and be able to see little movements is enough to send your love through the roof. I as a preemie mom recommend it for any and all parents (both mothers and fathers), but especially for premature parents (with the permission of your NICU nurse/neonatologist of course). I would love to hear other moms’ experiences with this, and how it affected your relationship with your baby (or babies).
My daughter, Annika’s very first Kangaroo at 5 days old
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