The Kangaroo Care treatment was developed in Colombia in the late 1970s as a method to decrease the high death rate in preterm infants.
Kangaroo Care comprises of a specific method of holding a baby that includes skin-to-skin contact. The baby is naked (maybe except for a diaper), and is placed upright against a parent’s bare chest. Kangaroo Care can be done both by the father and mother.
Researchers found that preterm babies who were held close to their mothers’ bodies for the greater portion of the day survived and thrived. The results were so impressive that, today, Kangaroo Care is encouraged for all young infants, not only for premature born babies.
Benefits of Kangaroo Care
- Stabilizes the baby’s heart rate;
- Improves the baby’s breathing pattern;
- Improves oxygen saturation levels;
- Promotes better sleep;
- Regulates the baby’s body temperature;
- Conserves the baby’s energy levels i.e. calories;
- More rapid weight gain;
- Less crying;
- Increased bonding;
- More successful breastfeeding and better breast milk supply;
- Earlier hospital discharge.