Happy International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day!
Kangaroo care is skin-to-skin contact between a mother and a baby or a father and a baby. It is similar to how a baby joey is carried by a mother kangaroo.
Kangaroo care has been reported to have positive effect on the development of the immune system, temperature regulation, and on the stability of heart and breathing rates of premature babies. It is also said to help to improve the bonding between parents and baby, and stimulate breast milk production.
Kangaroo time was very special for me and our little one pound eight ounce baby girl -- Emily -- especially since I didn't really get to see or hold her after my c-section.
I was allowed to kangaroo with Emily in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) a few days after she was born.
The first several times that we kangarooed together were really scary -- especially since she was so tiny and on a SiPAP, Billy Rubin, and multiple other machines. We would have to sit together in the rocking chair -- really close to the giraffe -- because the tubes and wires only stretched so far. I wasn't able to move or allow the chair to rock while holding Emily as the nurses were concerned about over-stimulation.
The amount of time we were able to kangaroo together -- or just take Emily out of the giraffe -- varied based on the day (it was all dependent upon oxygen saturation levels, as well as her amount of desats and bradys, and the doctor/nurse assigned to her).
At the beginning of our 67-day NICU stay we were only able to kangaroo for five minutes a day. Those five minutes were better than anything in the world. Our baby is home now -- and it's so nice to be able to hold her as long as we want.
Whether you had a premature or full-term baby, were you able to engage in kangaroo care? What was your experience?
Preemie Blessings wishes you a very Happy International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day and sends you a virtual hug!