There are many preterm babies born in India every month. This has led to a rising need for new-born parents to learn about Kangaroo care and initiate it right from the start, when the baby is in NICU. Skin-to-skin care or Kangaroo care is the physical activity wherein you hold your baby in direct and continuous contact. The baby needs to be placed directly on your chest. Both the baby and you need to be bare to perform Kangaroo care. It is very beneficial for full-term and premature babies alike.

Many doctors recommend Kangaroo care to parents with preemies. They believe Kangaroo care allows the regulation of the temperature, breathing, and heart rate of the baby. It releases oxytocin in both bodies, promoting feelings of attachment and love. Kangaroo care can also allow to reduce the stress levels of the mother and the baby. This mindful and heartful activity can create a comforting environment for the preemie as it mimics what it feels like to be in a womb.

Kangaroo Care In NICU

Kangaroo care is very important for preterm babies. It has many emotional and physical benefits for the baby as well as the parent. The intimate skin-to-skin activity promotes the optimal physiological development of the baby. It enhances the bond between the baby and the parents altogether. It stabilizes the blood sugar levels in the baby and even promotes weight gain. It decreases the risk of infection in a baby and boosts their immunity by exposure to the parental skin microbiota. 

The sensory stimulation offered by skin-to-skin contact with the baby can positively affect the neurological development of the baby. It can improve their cognitive outcomes later in life. Both mothers and fathers can enjoy lower levels of anxiety while performing this skin-to-skin activity. Practicing kangaroo care is something all preemie parents should swear by in order to increase milk production, successfully breastfeed, and care for their little beings in a better way. 

Both the parent and the child should be in a secure and comfortable position to enjoy the true benefits of Kangaroo care. The baby should be placed on the parent’s bare chest. Their head should be slightly tilted in order to maintain an open airway. The parent needs to have a calm state of mind to create a soothing environment for the baby and themselves. Good skin-to-skin contact is crucial to reaping the true benefits of the session. The baby’s chest should also be bare and directly against the skin of the parent. Both of you need to be in such a position that you can feel each other’s heartbeat and warmth.

Kangaroo care should always be done in a gentle and quiet environment. The main objective of this skin-to-skin session is to enhance the bonding of the child and the parent, essential for healthy development of the baby.