Bonding…what every parent wants for themselves and their baby. When a baby is born too soon or with complications and has to be admitted to the NICU the bonding process between parent and child is disrupted. Research has proven that parents involved in kangaroo care provides benefits not only for the baby but for the parents as well.
The entire month of May, NICU Helping Hands has advocated for Kangaroo Care across the country. In our local area of Fort Worth we have had the pleasure of working hand in hand with the clinical staff at hospitals to provide educational information and incentives to both parents and nursing staff to increase the time parents are spending with their babies skin to skin. We are so proud of the number of hours that parents spent in kangaroo care over the month of May and the clinical staff that encouraged and partnered with parents to ensure babies were getting onto mommy’s and daddy’s chest as often and as easily as possible.
We wanted to share the successes that the healthcare team and NICU parents at Baylor All Saints Medical Center experienced this past month. There were 28,591 Minutes of Kangaroo Care time logged during the month of May. That is 476 hours and 31 minutes that babies spent snuggled skin to skin with their parents. 476 hours and 31 minutes that contributed to:
- Stabilization of the baby’s heart rate
- Improved and regular breathing patterns
- Improved oxygen saturation levels
- Gain in sleep time
- More rapid weight gain
- Decreased crying
- More successful breastfeeding sessions
- Earlier hospital discharge
- Improved bonding and feelings of closeness with their baby for parents
- Increased breast milk supply for mothers
- Increased confidence in ability to care for their baby
- Increased confidence that their baby was well cared for
- Increased sense of control
The benefits of Kangaroo Care are life changing for the entire family. Even though Kangaroo Care Awareness month has ended the importance of advocating for and providing skin to skin care of babies has not. A life changing practice….why would every day not be Kangaroo Care Awareness Day?