We are working with staff at LWNC’s NICU in Burnley to bring the benefits of kangaroo care and skin to skin contact to more babies and their parents. So far 20 Vija kangaroo care tops have been bought for the unit and enough funding to train twenty members of staff has been raised.
What is Kangaroo Care?
Kangaroo care or skin to skin contact is when a baby is placed on their parents chest. It is most effective when the baby wears nothing but a nappy and lies directly on the parents chest under any clothing. To make sure the baby gets the full benefit it is best for them to be held like this for a least one full sleep/wake cycle, usually around an hour. Most hospitals in the UK now support and recommend skin to skin immediately after birth for all babies when possible.
Why are we doing this?
There are many benefits to keeping babies close and in skin to skin contact and these become even more important when a baby is born early or ill, you can see some of the benefits on the list below. Skin to skin contact can be done without any equipment but we feel having the tops will give both staff and parents more confidence in carrying out kangaroo care for longer periods of time. The tops keep baby secure and also act like a blanket keeping baby warm. The training we are offering staff is designed to give them an overview of babywearing in general and clarity in the use of the tops when they are helping their parents do skin to skin with their babies.
Benefits of Kangaroo Care/Skin to Skin Contact:
- Regulation of bodily functions
- Brain development
- Reduction of PND