Written by Karen Prunty – Little Roo.
Today November 17th is World Prematurity Day. 1 in 10 babies worldwide are born prematurely. Today is one of the most important days in the year to raise awareness of the challenges of premature birth and its impact on families. It is also a day in which to thank all the amazing health care workers who provide around the clock care to all the children in the NICU.
The most natural place for a baby to be is in their parent’s arms. This can’t always be possible if, for example, a baby is born prematurely or with medical needs.
We know that a parent’s touch can have a very positive impact on a baby and this year’s theme for World Prematurity Day is promoting skin to skin straight away after a baby is born too early. Kangaroo Care also known as skin to skin, is a special way of holding your baby skin to skin against your chest. Touch is the first sense to develop and is a beautiful way of communicating with your baby, through your loving and nurturing touch.
The amazing benefits of KC were first noticed in Colombia in the 1970s when there was a shortage of incubators. They placed babies on their mothers chest, skin to skin, not only did these babies survive, but they also thrived.
Your familiar voice is very comforting for your baby, while doing skin to skin you can talk, read or sing to your baby.
Benefits of kangaroo care to Baby:
- Enables bonding between you and your baby
- Helps regulate heartbeat, breathing, oxygen levels and maintain temperature
- Improved sleep
- Improved breastfeeding success and breastfeeding duration
- Can provide an analgesic effect during a procedure
- Increased Weight gain
- Improved immunity
- Improved brain development
- Decrease crying
Benefits of Kangaroo Care to Parent/Caregiver:
- Helps with attachment and bonding
- Increased breast milk supply
- Improves parental mood
- Increases your confidence in providing care to your baby,
- Improves parental role
Karen Prunty at Little Roo Baby Massage is a mum of 4 and a Dual qualified nurse ( General nurder and children’s nurse) and has been working as a children’s nurse for the past 11 years. At Little Roo, Karen offers preparation classes such as the newborn nurture course and first aid, and once your baby is here there are online and in person classes and workshops available including baby massage. Check ger out at littleroo.ie and @little_roo_baby in IG.