Your first few moments with your new baby can be an incredibly intimate experience. More and more parents are welcoming newborns into the world with kangaroo care, a skin-to-skin bonding method that has proven benefits for baby, and mom and dad as well.
Kangaroo care is commonly used in cases of premature birth, but any parent can use this method.
With skin-to-skin contact, newborns often experience:
- Regulated body temperature
- Regulated heart and breathing rates
- More time in deep sleep
- Less time crying and more time quietly alert
- Better weight gain
- Easier breastfeeding
Parents feel the benefits as well. Research shows that mothers have an increased breast milk supply, more confidence and improved bonding with their babies. Fathers also often gain more confidence when they try kangaroo care.
To get started, mom or dad should be bare-chested. The hospital should provide a gown that opens in the front. Strip your baby down to his diaper and lay him upright against your chest as you recline.
Cover yourselves with a blanket or shirt and simply relax. Doing this for at least one hour, four times a week, has the best results.
Kangaroo care is a simple practice with big benefits. Whether you try skin-to-skin or stay clothed, taking time to cuddle with your baby makes a difference for both of you.
For more info on Kangaroo Care visit www.kangaroocareusa.org.