Kangaroo Care & Its Benefits

Throughout the pregnancy, babies are "close in touch" with their moms. Suddenly, during delivery, it gets separated with that longtime bond. Baby has to get adjusted to the new atmosphere. For them, from medium (it changes from water to air) everything is changing in their aspects. Being close to the mother for some more time will help them to get used to the new circumstances faster. Here comes the relevance of Kangaroo care.

What is kangaroo care?

Have you seen how kangaroo holds its baby in its pouch? Kangaroo care refers a method of holding a baby that involves skin-to-skin contact. In this method, the baby is snuggled inside the pouch of their parent's shirt, much like a kangaroo's pouch. The baby, who is naked except for a diaper is placed in an upright position against a parent's bare chest. Mothers and babies were put in direct skin to skin contact for at least the first 1–2 hours after birth. This method has proven to have dramatic positive effects on preemies and full-term babies.

How is it done?

The baby is positioned on the mother's bare chest, safely between her breasts. Both of them will be covered by a layer of cloth or blanket for warmth. If the mother is not able to do this if she faces some complications during labor or underwent a C section, there comes the role of the father.  You will start to see the benefits of skin-to-skin care within a couple of minutes

Who gets the benefits of kangaroo care?

Kangaroo care works for all babies. However, preemies and babies in NICU reap the advantages of the kangaroo care more. 

What are the benefits of kangaroo care?

Here are the  seven  leading benefits of skin-to-skin care:

1.     Easy transition from the womb:

Babies who are held skin-to-skin are found to experience reduced level of stress following birth as they begin to expose the new world around them. They also exhibit better neuro-behavioral outcomes including less crying, lower pain response, and better breastfeeding.

2.     Boosts maternal-child bonding:

When mothers and babies are separated physically after birth. By following kangaroo care the attachment and bonding between the mother and child are found to increase incredibly. Research points to the long-term advantages than an easy transition from the womb to a new world. Newborns that experienced kangaroo care were found more attached and bonded to their mothers over time than babies don't have Kangaroo care. Those babies were found more attentive after six months and their mothers were more familiar to their baby's cues.

3.     Boosts the maternal confidence:

The mothers who give kangaroo care for their babies are found to learn her baby's signals sooner, enhancing the communication. As the mother manages to pick the cue correctly, her confidence level will increase.

4.     Breast crawl-The baby initiates the breastfeeding:

When placed on her mother's abdomen, soon after birth, a baby has the ability to find its mother's breast himself and to decide and will take his first breastfeed. Therefore, kangaroo care boosts the baby's natural instincts to locate, latch on, and breastfeed. This will bring down the chances of wrong latching and associated issues. Skin-to-skin contact also increases milk let-down.

5.     Stabilizes the body temperature of the baby:

After birth, babies have to regulate their body temperature, which was done by their mother when they are in the womb. It will take some time. Until then, it is important for helping the baby to regulate the body temperature. The core temperature of the newborn increasing and decreasing significantly is equally dangerous. In point of fact, when it comes to keeping a vulnerable newborn warm, a mother's body is better than an artificial warmer. Do you know the core temperature of a mother can rise by two degrees centigrade if the baby is cold and fall 1 degree if the baby is hot?

6.     Babies gain weight easily:

Babies given Kangaroo Care are found to gain weight more quickly than babies not given it. Quick weight gain, in case of preemies means, shorter hospital stays.

7.     Enhances the function of the lungs and heart:

As already mentioned above, the babies go through a dramatic transition after birth as the medium that was familiar to them change.  Those babies held skin-to-skin by their mothers tend to become accustomed sooner than those who are not. Perhaps the heartbeat of the mother and her breathing patterns are well-known to the baby after spending time in the womb. Both pre-term babies and full-term babies get this benefit

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