Skin-to-skin care, also known as kangaroo care, is the practice of placing a baby on a mom or dad’s bare chest so that the baby’s skin and the parent’s skin touch. For preemies, it’s the best medicine. Babies sleep better, breathe better, and grow better when they are on their parents.
And it’s great medicine for parents too – parents who routinely hold their babies experience less stress, moms make more breast milk, and parents rate themselves as more confident and competent after skin-to-skin holding sessions.
Ask preemie parents about how they felt the first time they held their babies, and you’ll hear responses like:
“It was the first time I felt like a parent.”
“It was magic.”
“It was one of the best moments of my life.”
“It was the first time I felt like I was helping my baby.”
“It was the first time I felt like I had a purpose.”
So obviously we are BIG FANS of kangaroo care at CPBF-FBPC.org, and we all treasure those sacred moments we spent with our own babies. That is why we are so happy to partner with Sunnybrook NICU on the 2nd annual International Kangaroo Challenge!
The Kangaroo Challenge is an invitation to NICUs around the world to hold their own Kangaroo-a-thons … two week celebrations of Kangaroo Care leading up to International Kangaroo Care Day on May 15th. Units track the hours that parents spend holding their babies. Last year the team from Salem, Oregon were the big winners, although Soldiers Memorial from Orillia also put in a fantastic showing.
This year we want to issue a challenge to ALL Canadian NICUs to get on board (although to be clear we welcome participants from anywhere in the world). We have some fun prizes that we’ll be announcing over the next two months. We will also be encouraging parents to participate in the festivities by sharing photos of their kangaroo care sessions on Twitter and Facebook (#kangaroochallenge).
So here is our question to you all …
If you’re a unit interested in registering, learn more at www.sunnybrook.ca/kangaroo
If you’re a parent, preemie, family member or clinician with a kangaroo care story to share, please share in the comments section, or on our Facebook page.