Kangaroo Care is the practice of providing continuous skin-to-skin, chest-to-chest contact between an infant and parent. The parent's chest becomes the place of care. It is an evidence-based, effective technique for supporting optimal brain growth and development for the baby, while also promoting parental health and well-being in the short and long term.
As we celebrate Kangaroo Care Day it is important to recognize the powerful benefits this practice provides for both infants and their caregivers.
- Helps stabilize temperature, heart and breathing rates
- Supports brain growth and development
- Decreases pain during painful procedures
- Reduces infections by introducing parent's good bacteria
- Improves quality and duration of sleep
- Enhances early breastfeeding behaviours
- Decreases the parents' risk of anxiety, stress and depression
- Helps with bonding and attachment
- Increases parents' confidence in ability to care for their infant
- Improves milk supply and long-term breastfeeding success
In British Columbia's NICUs, we are supporting families to do as much Kangaroo Care as possible with the support of kangaroo care wraps and education resources. The Kangaroo Care wraps provide safety and comfort for families to hold their babies for longer and to sleep safely.
On May 16th, 2023, the World Health Organization will publish two important new policy programmatic resources on Kangaroo Care – a global position paper and implementation strategy. The WHO recommends kangaroo care as essential standard place of care – starting immediately from birth when possible and holding for 8 to 24 hours a day for maximum benefits.
We wish all families and healthcare providers in the NICU a Happy International Kangaroo Care Day! We believe in the healing power of parental touch.
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