Learning never changes when you are a parent. From the first moments your infant comes into the world you are learning. When I gave birth to premature infants I was forced into a world I had never known. My infants were tiny compared to the first two infants I’d given birth to and I was overwhelmed with the thought of caring for infants so small. It wasn’t until I learned about Kangaroo care that I realized just how wonderful preemie care could be.
What is Kangaroo Care?
Twin B faced a few feeding problems during the first two to three months of life. Borderline failure to thrive was the diagnosis and I had no idea how things would turn out. The pediatrician suggested using Kangaroo care. Kangaroo care was started in a hospital setting in Columbia. Hospitals lost premature infants due to poor conditions and equipment that was not reliable. Instead of just watching infants die, the doctors suggested moms care for babies with skin to skin contact and frequent breastfeeding. The care was called Kangaroo care and it saved the lives of many infants. The method spread quickly and is used in many hospitals today.
The Basics of Kangaroo Care
Kangaroo care is easy. Simply remove all babies’ clothes aside from the diaper. Place your infant between your bare breasts – skin to skin contact is crucial. Rock baby or simply allow baby to sleep with your scent surrounding him. Breastfeed as often as baby desires.
What if I’m Not Breastfeeding?
Kangaroo care does not require breastfeeding. When baby starts to nuzzle toward the breast, offer a bottle. Feed baby while still making skin to skin contact.
Kangaroo care quickly turned around twin B. He gained weight and soon surpassed his twin in terms of length and weight.