Kangaroo Care benefits preemies developmentally according to new work out from a leading KC advocate.
New information out by a leading researcher on “Kangaroo Care” (KC) — the skin-to-skin, chest-to-chest touching between mother and baby — shows developmental benefits for preterm infants in hospital care.
Susan Ludington-Hoe, RN, author of The Best You Can Do to Help Your Preterm Infant presents new research in an article titled “Kangaroo Care as a Neonatal Therapy,” appearing in the Journal of Newborn and Infant Reviews that describes benefits to KC beyond simply breastfeeding and bonding. Kangaroo Care for preemies involves the mother nestling the baby on her chest for at least one hour at a time and ideally for 22 hours a day for the first six weeks, and about eight hours a day for the next year.
In Scandinavia and Germany KC is practiced for preemies 24/7, and many infants leave the hospital about three weeks earlier than they do in the United States.
Ludington-Hoe’s research shows that babies respond more positively to their mothers than they do to nurses; preemies experience less pain and stress when receiving some medical procedures while in their mothers’ arms; and infant’s brains mature faster and have better connectivity if they have received KC versus not having received KC. Ludington-Hoe also concludes that mothers can make the difference in how quickly their preemies grow and develop.