“This was only the second time that Sterlina was able to hold Ben. He opened his eyes and spent several minutes staring at her, almost knowingly. They call it Kangaroo Care in the NICU. Babies are held against your chest so there is skin to skin contact. It’s named after Kangaroo’s and the way they care for their young. Baby Kangaroo’s are born not fully developed, and spend time in the mothers pouch after they are born.
Research has shown that holding preemies like this can improve the regulation of their breathing, heartrate and temperature. It can also help stimulate a mothers milk production. All of this aside, it also helps parents bond with their children, especially in the NICU setting, when you don’t feel like the primary caregiver. The idea was pioneered by a Doctor in Bogota, Colombia in 1978, in order to free up much needed beds and nurses. Despite being discharged early with premature babies, this method significantly improved the survival rates of the children who were cared for this way. Kangaroo Care is now practiced in over 80% of the NICU’s in the US.”
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