Bringing a new life into the world is exciting and developing a healthy parent/child relationship is a lifelong process. While some parents report having an instant feeling of closeness with their newborn, it is not automatic for everyone. So what can you do to foster a sense of intimacy with your child? Below you will find more information on kangaroo care and its benefits.
What is Kangaroo Care?
In its simplest form, kangaroo care is simple to close or intimate skin to skin contact with your newborn. Typically, your baby is in their diaper as you place them in direct contact with your skin. You may choose to use an old button down shirt that you can button up around your baby as they are positioned on you. It may also be advantageous to utilize a blanket as newborns can easily get cold.
Benefits to Your Baby
In part, kangaroo care has become popular because of the wide variety of advantages for a newborn. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some of the benefits include “stabilization of the baby’s heart rate, improved (more regular) breathing pattern, improved O2 stats, a gain in sleep time, more rapid weight gain, and decreased crying.” From this list alone, it’s easy to see how a newborn can benefit from a parent's touch.
Benefits for Mom
One of the best ways for a parent to bond with their baby is to do skin to skin snuggling as soon as they are able. The brain releases a hormone called oxytocin, or the love hormone when you do kangaroo care with your baby. As a breastfeeding mother, Kangaroo care can assist in establishing your milk supply early on along with the help of frequent and effect feedings. The Cleveland Clinic also found that it increased a parents confidence to care for their babies and that their babies are well cared for. This is a great bonding tool for all parents and even siblings if they are old enough or would like to do it with some help! Other ideas could include taking a bath with your newborn.
If you are interested in doing kangaroo care, your San Francisco Newborn Care Specialist or Doula would be happy to assist you in accomplishing skin to skin time with your newborn.