Kangaroo Care (skin-to-skin contact) is a special bonding experience that provides many benefits for newborns and parents. The infant wears only a diaper and is covered with a light blanket and held in an upright position against the parent's bare chest.
Benefits for Newborns
We encourage you to practice Kangaroo Care with your baby for at least one hour per day. The benefits of Kangaroo Care for the baby have been demonstrated in research studies.
- Conserves calories (leading to more rapid weight gain)
- Enhances breastfeeding (due to increased milk production in the mother)
- Increases oxygen saturation rates
- Improves sleep
- Positively effects brain development
- Reduces crying
- Regulates body temperature
- Stabilizes heart and respiratory rates
Benefits for Parents
Kangaroo Care has emotional benefits for parents as well. Skin-to-skin contact enhances natural bonding and closeness with your baby. It builds confidence as you provide intimate care that can improve your baby's health and well-being.
History of Kangaroo Care
Kangaroo care was developed in response to a high death rate in preterm babies in Bogota, Columbia in the late 1970s. The death rate for premature infants (70 percent) was attributed to simple lack of attention, as well as health conditions such as infections and respiratory problems. Researchers in that country determined that babies who were held close to their mothers' bodies for large portions of the day not only survived, but even thrived.
For More Information
The Upper Valley Medical Center Maternity nursing team is happy to discuss Kangaroo Care with you. To learn more, contact us at (937) 440-4900.
Learn About Childbirth
The Premier Health Library offers a wealth of information about childbirth. Learn about conditions, treatments, how to prepare for a surgery and much more.
Content Updated: December 1, 2014