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Skin to Skin Holding

Kangaroo Care is holding your baby closely between your breasts with skin to skin contact.  Many parents describe a special closeness and attachment to their baby when held skin to skin.

What are the benefits of Kangaroo Care?

  • Research studies have shown that premature and full term babies who experience KC may gain weight faster, may have more restful sleep periods, may have fewer breathing problems, or may regulate their breathing better during KC.
  • Babies maintain a stable body temperature.  Your body heat will help keep the baby nice and warm.
  • KC helps increase the milk supply in breastfeeding mothers, and babies may learn to latch faster.
  • Parents who practice KC report feeling more comfortable caring for their babies once they are discharged home.

How do I know if my baby is eligible for Kangaroo Care?

  • Every baby can benefit from Kangaroo Care.  It is encouraged for babies, both premature and full term, who are stable.
  • KC can be done at any time during your hospitalization and continued at home.

How is Kangaroo Care provided?

  • Use the recliner in your room, or raise your bed to a 60-70 degree angle.
  • Your baby will be dressed in only a diaper.
  • Position your baby upright between your breasts, on your chest.  This maximizes the skin contact and allows for cuddling and closeness.
  • Close your shirt or bring your hospital gown up over the baby and then place a blanket over your baby’s back.  The nurse will monitor your baby’s temperature.
  • If you are breastfeeding your baby, it is a good idea to feed after KC, as contact with your baby often increases milk supply and improves the baby’s ability to nurse.
  • It is recommended that you avoid scented products such as soaps and deodorants, until your baby learns to breastfeed well.