Originally Posted on April 30 2015 on http://www.vija-design.co.uk/
All babies thrive on touch. For babies, close skin to skin contact is a natural expectation, representing safety, food and shelter. It is within every parent’s power to initiate this amazing first embrace and yet parents are not always aware of the power of Kangaroo Care for their new baby. Many dismiss it, believing it is only for premature babies.
Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact has enormous benefits for preterm infants but it also has huge benefits for full term babies and yet it is often overlooked in today’s busy birth units. It is often mistakenly thought of as an intervention only for low birth weight and preterm infants however the same life-saving responses a pre-term baby has to being held skin to skin are life-enhancing experiences for all babies and those responses can have an incredible positive effect on all babies development. Practising Skin-to-Skin daily for the first 6 months of a baby’s life creates an amazing foundation for them to build the rest of their life on.
Full term babies held Skin-to-Skin remain in deep sleep for longer periods of time, they show improved brain development, regulation of temperature and heartbeat, reduced stress, improvements in weight gain and are at lower risk of serious infection. Close physical contact with their mother stimulates natural breastfeeding behaviours in babies and enables sharing of antibodies and immunity from mother to baby. Production of the hormone ‘oxytocin’ is raised enormously in both parent and child during Skin-to-Skin Contact and this encourages bonding and greatly reduces the symptoms of Post Natal Depression in mothers.
Whatever your birth environment you can ask for immediate Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact with your baby. It is not just for preterm. Have you added it to your birth plan? Is it something that has been mentioned in your antenatal appointments or classes? Skin-to-Skin contact with your full term baby for 60 minutes immediately post birth greatly increases the chances of initiating breastfeeding successfully and continuing it ongoing. It also immediately implements all the other benefits of Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact – Oxytocin release for mother and child, 10 x less crying, improved mental and physical development for the child, temperature and heart rate regulation in baby, improved sensitivity to infant cues and enhanced bonding.
Regular, daily doses of Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact during a full term baby’s early life (up to 6 months/15lbs), offers the chance to maximise the health benefits and positive effects on babies physical and mental development, it increases natural parent and child bonding and will have a lifelong benefit to all the family. Vija Design offer a range of specially designed Kangaroo Care Garments to allow easy, daily Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact anytime, anywhere whilst getting on with the rest of your daily routine. It is our mission to build a smarter, stronger and better bonded society through Kangaroo Care/Skin-to-Skin Contact. Find out more about this powerful tool for supporting your baby’s development at: http://vija-design.co.uk/pages/benefits-of-skin-to-skin-kangaroo-care