Home InfancyBaby Kangaroo care is highly beneficial for both babies and parents

Kangaroo care is highly beneficial for both babies and parents

by Tania Griffin

Together with dedicated mothers, fathers and healthcare professionals across South Africa, Netcare is highlighting the many benefits of kangaroo care for newborns, ranking among the top healthcare teams in a recently held global awareness event. 

Kangaroo care mimics the close contact between a mother kangaroo and her baby carried in her pouch. It is highly beneficial in appropriate circumstances, particularly among premature or low birthweight babies, says Verena Bolton, a neonatal nurse and national co-ordinator of Netcare Ncelisa human milk banks. 

“Skin-to-skin contact is not only advised for mothers. Spending time close together in this way substantially contributes to parental bonding for fathers as well, enriching their experience through some very special snuggle time with their little one from the first days of life,” she adds. 

Bolton explains that in addition to its emotional and bonding benefits, kangaroo care aids in the development of a normal skin microbiome for the baby, assists with better body temperature regulation and can result in improved cardiac and respiratory function for babies. Furthermore, it helps establish successful breastfeeding, which is important for a healthy digestive tract and immune system.  

The results of the global Kangaroo-a-thon, which took place earlier this winter, saw the Netcare Group placing among the top 10 of 45 participating healthcare teams globally, alongside facilities in France, Costa Rica, the United States and the United Kingdom. 

“Mothers and fathers have a role to play as active members of the healthcare team safeguarding the well-being and development of their baby to ensure better overall neurodevelopmental outcomes. We strongly encourage a co-caring relationship between parents and healthcare professionals in Netcare neonatal ICUs, where babies are often undergoing intensive therapies and parents may have limited access,” says Bolton.

Skin-to-skin care is actively encouraged in all Netcare maternity and neonatal units in support of the World Health Organization and UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

You may also like

Leave a Comment