International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day: How Important Is Skin-To-Skin Contact With Newborns?

By: Rahul M | May 14, 2024

Every year, May 15 is observed as International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day. It aims at spreading the importance of skin-to-skin contact with newborn babies.

Skin-to-skin contact is a practice between mothers and newborn babies, immediately after birth. This process is essential, especially for babies born in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The term Kangaroo Care came from how Mother Kangaroo protects her infant. She has a little pouch in the front of her body. It acts as a second womb and protects the baby kangaroo.

After first few moments and days after birth, the mother places the baby on her chest and covers the baby with a blanket. This close contact with the mother helps the child feel warm and protected.

The skin-to-skin contact with the mother helps the baby stay calm. Usually, kangaroo care is given in the NICU unit where pre-mature babies are taken extra of but a few hospitals have found skin-to-skin contact more effective.

There are many evidence-based health benefits of skin-to-skin contact. The babies feel safe and it helps in improving their overall health.

Kangaroo care helps stabalise the baby's heart rate and body temperature. It decreases crying and stress. Babies sleep well and improve sleeping patterns. Also, because babies feel protected, their breathing patterns improve too.