Kangaroo Care (skin-to-skin)
Be Empowered Birth Series
Kangaroo care, also known as skin-to-skin, is when your newborn baby is placed directly on your chest area, belly to belly, which brings an array of benefits for mother and baby.
Kangaroo Care is known to originate in 1978 as an attempt to save premature babies. Since poorer hospitals couldn't afford incubators, they found that by placing the baby on the bare chest of their mother or father that the baby was able to regulate their body temperature more effectively. A mother's breast are designed to increase or decrease temperature depending on the baby's needs. In fact if you place twins on their mother's chest, one on each breast, the mother's breast will individually change temperature to adjust to each baby’s needs.
There are many benefits to kangaroo care for your newborn baby, as well as the parents. Included are a few benefits from birth to those initial months with your newborn:
The baby is able to regulate their heart rate and oxygen better when placed skin-to-skin.
Skin-to-skin reduces baby's stress by lowering their cortisol and raising oxytocin.
Being placed skin-to-skin helps baby to fall into a deeper sleep.
The baby has a better chance of nursing.
Baby is also able to gain weight faster because less energy is going towards staying warm.
There are also many benefits for the new mother including but not limited to:
An increase in milk supply.
A reduction in stress.
An increase in confidence.
A more secure bond with the baby.
Skin-to-skin can also aid in reducing the chances of postpartum depression by increasing oxytocin!
There are so many benefits to skin-to-skin that we highly encourage parents to take advantage of this amazing opportunity you have to love on your baby! Be sure to talk with your provider about immediate skin-to-skin post delivery, as well as plan for lots of skin-to-skin time during all the first months!
Want to learn more about skin-to-skin and and immediate birth options? Sign up for our Be Empowered Childbirth Classes. We provide you with information on all your birth options!