Kangaroo Care (KC) is a deliberate and lovingly sensitive way of holding a medically fragile infant. It helps meet the baby’s natural need for a secure connection after birth, and has been shown to promote the vitally important bonding process that takes place between the infant and parents. KC involves direct skin-to-skin contact, achieved by comfortably positioning the infant on the bare chest of either parent. This position is then sustained for varying lengths of time depending on the comfort level of the infant.
Kangaroo Care first began in the early 1970’s as a way to care for small, fragile babies. Through research, it has been shown to increase the infant’s physiological stability, including heart rate and temperature regulation, as well as their oxygen utilization (oxygen saturation). It also has a calming effect and is pleasurable for both parents and baby – enhancing quality of life while in the NICU.
Alta Bates Summit staff are trained to support the use of Kangaroo Care in the NICU, ensuring that baby and parent find a comfortable position in which to relax and share time growing their love for one another. It is an important and encouraged aspect of our Compassionate Beginnings™ Program.