Kangaroo Care: Mother's magic touch works wonders for newborns

Kangaroo Care: Skin to skin contact helps newborns thrive

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - More and more health care professionals are urging mothers to place their newborns on their bare chests, giving them skin to skin contact. It's called "Kangaroo Care," and it can be especially important for babies born premature.

Tina Fritz, NICU nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant at Memorial Hospital, calls it mother's medicine.

"When mothers hold their babies skin to skin, lots of good things happen. It stabilizes the baby's heart rate and respiratory rate," she explains. "And then it also stabilizes the baby's temperature."

The response is practically instant. A premature baby's vitals will improve mere seconds after being placed on mommy's chest.

Fritz says, "When a mother holds a baby on her chest, there's a special kind of nurturing that happens at that time. The mother's body is the baby's natural habitat, so I like to tell parents 'mom's chest is baby's nest.'"

This Kangaroo Care method is also very beneficial for mommies and daddies to bond with their newborns. Health care professionals encourage immediate skin to skin contact for healthy, full term babies, as well, for many of the same benefits.  So snuggle up, and enjoy the warmth.

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