Raising awareness about the impact of premature birth is the first step toward a better understanding of prematurity, with an overall goal of reducing the occurrence of premature birth and supporting optimal care for premature infants and their families.
This year, BC Women’s is promoting the importance of Kangaroo Mother Care for premature infants. In Canada, 1 in 12 babies is born prematurely. The early days of infant care have a profound impact on a baby’s development. The importance of parents being part of the Core Care Team (parent, nurse, physician) and providing as much care for their baby as possible has shown benefits to long term neurodevelopmental outcomes.
Kangaroo Mother Care is used by BC Women’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit; it reinforces physical bonds between mother or caregiver and baby.
Kangaroo refers to the baby being held by caregiver with skin-to-skin contact; like a kangaroo mother would carry her baby in her pouch.
Long-term hospital care for infants can impact infant development, both physically and psychologically.
Kangaroo Mother Care provides infants with warmth, love, sense of security, improved breastfeeding outcomes as well as protection from infection through exposure to mother or caregiver.
This gentle method of prolonged skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding can be initiated in the hospital and carried through at home.
Kangaroo Mother Care is a global standard of care with proven improved outcomes for newborns. BC Women’s invites the community to consult its website to learn more about Kangaroo Mother Care at bcwomens.ca.