When you look at a mother holding her infant, the pose is often that of her holding the baby close to her chest. Have you ever wondered what is it that makes a mother’s touch so special? It is the concern she pours through her embrace, from her heart deep into the baby’s. Besides this, a mother’s embrace has various other effects on a child’s health, especially for a pre-term baby.
So, we are not going to go on and on about how a mother is special and so is her touch. Instead, we are here to give you yet another reason to thank her for her ‘healthy embrace’. This Mother’s Day, let us learn about a new kind of embrace, Kangaroo Care. This is an innovative practice, inspired by nature, and is especially healthy for both mother and child.
How did Kangaroo Care come about and what is it?
In the 1970s, scientists noticed an increase in the number of preterm baby deaths in Colombia. These babies were mostly dying of infections and respiratory problems. As a solution for this syndrome, the researchers devised a technique called Kangaroo care. This involves skin-to-skin contact with the baby. The pre-term baby is naked except for a diaper or a piece of cloth on the back and is placed in an upright position against a parent’s bare chest. Another way is to place the infant inside the parent’s shirt- resembling a kangaroo’s pouch. Whenever this technique was followed, the researchers found a 100% improvement in the infant’s condition.
- Stabilization of heart rate of the baby
- Improvement in its breathing pattern
- Improved sleep patterns
- Improved oxygen delivery to the child.
- Rapid weight gain
- Improved relationship with parents.
For parents (especially mothers) too, this is beneficial in many ways:
- Improved bonding with the child
- Increased supply of breast milk
- Decreased risk of postpartum depression
- Increased responsiveness to the child’s needs