There's nothing more sacred than those first few moments of holding your newborn. The bond can make you both feel so secure and connected. But did you know that there are scientifically proven benefits to this instinctual act? Kangaroo mother care encourages skin-to-skin contact, nourishing your baby through breastfeeding if possible, and a hands-on approach to parental care in your babies' early days. And it can help the baby in so many ways.
When adjusting to your new routine after coming home from the hospital, lots of new moms find that keeping your baby close by babywearing can be very liberating. Babywearing allows you to still use your hands and breastfeed without having to wonder about your baby's comfort or safety, naturally strengthening your bond. If you are breastfeeding, kangaroo mother care can help ease the latching and comfortable feeding learning curve while you find your groove. Always speak to a lactation consultant or your doctor if you're struggling!
In addition to making your life easier, research has shown that skin-to-skin contact with your baby increases your her sensory neural pathway connections. Skin-to-skin helps keep your baby calm so her body can focus on the development of growing organs and metabolism. Kangaroo Mother Care also provides many social and emotional benefits since feeling consistently safe offers a boost to your baby's overall social and emotional development.
Premature babies can benefit the most from Kangaroo Mother Care because of the comfort provided. When a baby is born prematurely, maintaining her heart rate and breathing becomes essential. In 2004, a study was conducted on two groups of premature babies. The first group practiced skin-to-skin contact beginning at birth. The study found that these babies stabilized within six hours! In contrast, the second group was placed on ventilators, and only half of the babies were able to stabilize in the same amount of time. (Source) Who knew snuggles could be so important?!
At Covered Goods, we know the information about how to care for your newborn can be overwhelming. So here are some simple tips for you to keep in mind (from one kangaroo mama to another):
Kangaroo mother care can go a long way in easing the transition for you and your family. The most important thing to remember is finding a system that works for you. Don't forget, mama knows best!