Kangaroo care is a care given to a low birth weight baby in which a diapered baby is placed on the the bare chest (if you’re the father) or between the two breasts (if you’re the mother), with a blanket draped over your baby’s back.
Kangaroo care for LBW babies is initiated in the hospital after the condition of the baby is stabilized.
WHY KANGAROO CARE?
If a baby is a Preterm baby (baby born before the 9th month of pregnancy)
- If the baby has a low birth weight (LBW baby whose weight immediately after birth is less than 2.5kg.
- LBW/premature babies are at greater risk of illness
- LBW lack the ability to control their body temperature they get cold very quickly.
- A cold newborn stops feeding and is more susceptible to infection.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KANGAROO CARE
- Kangaroo care has the following health benefits
- It maintains baby’s body temperature.
- It regulates the baby’s heart and breathing rates
- It helps the baby to gain weight
- It helps the baby to spend more time in deep sleep.
- The baby spends more time being quiet and alert and less time crying
- The baby has a better chance for successful breastfeeding.
- Kangaroo care can also improve a mother’s breast milk production, the more the baby suckles on the breast milk the more the milk is produced.
- It fosters mother -child bond. By holding your baby directly against your skin, you’ll feel the experience of new parenthood and closeness to your baby.
HOW TO DO KANGAROO CARE
CAUTION! If you have an infection(rashes,eczema) or open wound on your chest or breast, please do not do kangaroo care because your baby may get infected.
- Remove your bra and have a bath
- Undress the baby with only the diapers on.
- Get a stretchy wrap (fabric) or any long fabric. Follow the instruction below to tie the wrap in readiness for the kangaroo care.
Do not move about and engage in any activity while performing kangaroo care. Sit or sleep quietly for the length of time this will go for. You can read books or listen to a soft music. You can as well sing softly to your baby. This creates a greater bond between you and the baby.