Skin-to-skin contact with your baby (kangaroo care)
The kangaroo care method originates from a hospital in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. This method was introduced because there was a shortage of adequate facilities for premature babies in this hospital. For this reason a project was started in 1979 whereby after a brief period of stabilisation during the first few days after birth, premature babies were strapped naked to their mother’s chest and sent home. The mothers received instructions of how to care for their babies in terms of hygiene, breastfeeding, how to maintain their tiny body temperature, etc.
As the method proved to be very successful and particularly effective in enhancing the mother/baby bonding process, western hospitals also started to adopt this kangaroo care method.
Once your baby’s condition is stable you may, subject to consultation with the nurse, start kangaroo care. Your baby will be laid upon the naked chest of one of the parents. Maternal or paternal feelings are not necessarily born instantaneously with the birth of the baby; this is a bond that develops as parents have contact with, and care for their baby.
- We recommend that you shower prior to kangarooing your baby. Clothes that open easily at the front are most convenient for kangarooing.
- Since the parent doing the kangarooing won’t be able to see the baby properly, we have a mirror that will still allow you to look at your baby.
- The time spent kangarooing may vary starting with 1 hour as minimum.
- The nurse is available for making appointments to provide kangaroo care. Only parents may be present during kangarooing, other visitors cannot be received during this time.