Skin-to-skin care is a great way to hold your baby and provide comfort and support as your baby adjusts to the new world. This type of care is commonly known as kangaroo care.
How Do I Provide Kangaroo Care?
- As soon after birth as possible, and as often as you can, you will want to place your baby’s bare belly on your bare chest with a warm blanket to cover both of you.
- The first hours of cuddling allow you and your baby to get to know each other while providing important health benefits to your baby.
- If your baby needs the attention of the pediatrician, or if you deliver by c-section, you can unwrap and cuddle as soon as soon as your baby is brought to you.
- Newborns want skin-to-skin contact naturally, and providing it this way helps to make the transition to motherhood much easier.
- Dads and other family members can provide this unique nurturing too.
Can Kangaroo Care Help Me With Breastfeeding?
- Snuggling gives you and baby the best start to breastfeeding.
- Many research studies have shown that skin-to-skin babies breastfeed better. Babies also breastfeed an average of six weeks longer when kangaroo care was done.
- Kangarooing your baby in the first few weeks will make it easier for you to pick up on your baby’s feeding cues.
How Can Kangaroo Care Help My Baby?
- Your chest is the best place for your baby to adjust to life outside the womb.
- Studies show that babies who are held skin-to-skin stay warmer and calmer, cry less, and grow better.
- Evidence shows that stress hormones are lower in infants who are exposed to skin-to-skin contact with their mother or other family members.
How Does Kangaroo Care Help Me as a New Mom?
- Researchers have found that moms who practice kangaroo care touch and cuddle their infants more than mothers who don’t. Studies have shown that even a year later, moms snuggled more with their young toddlers when they began with kangaroo care. This can help you to relate to your baby in a special way.
- Kangaroo care may lower your anxiety and fears about being a new mom by releasing calming hormones.
- Mothers who kangaroo have higher levels of milk-making hormones helping them make more milk, which can result in babies breastfeeding longer.
- You may feel more confident as a mother as you learn to calm and nurture you baby outside your womb.
Kangaroo Care Tips and Facts
- Keep cuddling your baby skin-to-skin after you leave the hospital. Your baby will stay warm and comfortable against you.
- The benefits of bonding, nurturing, soothing and breastfeeding will continue well after birth.
- Skin-to-skin contact may help your baby stay interested in breastfeeding if he or she is sleepy.
- Once this connection is made between the two of you, it will last a lifetime and provide lifelong support to your baby.