Kangaroo Care Awareness

Events

International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day is held on May 15th each year. It would normally mark the start of our annual Kangaroo-a-thon, where we'd encourage NICU and SCN units around the nation and the world to participate in a challenge to tally the highest kangaroo-cuddle hours at the end of the month. It is a great way to spread awareness about the benefits of kangaroo care, whilst promoting skin-to-skin contact in the hospitals.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be holding the regular Kangaroo-a-thon in 2020. Despite this, kangaroo care is incredibly important and should still be done when safe to do-so. This year our campaign will focus on education and information on Kangaroo Care. Although this is an unprecedented time, we hope valuable skin-to-skin time can be spent with your precious babies.

Get Involved
Throughout May we're encouraging people to help us promote Kangaroo Care by sharing photos on social media. Join us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @MiracleBabiesFoundation and encourage families to post comments and photographs #miraclebabies #kangaroocare #kangaroocuddle #nicu #specialcare #premmie

We also want to hear what skin-to-skin contact means to families and what their experiences have been around it. People can share their stories through our 'Family Story' form.

Families can also enter our Kangaroo Care Awareness colouring-in competition. It's the perfect indoor activity to keep the children busy. Return the completed entry by June 30th for a chance to win a prize. Scan or take a picture of the finished artwork and send all entries to: info@miraclebabies.org.au 

You can also download and print a free poster and flyers to help promote kangaroo care awareness.

What is Kangaroo Care?

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Kangaroo care or skin-to-skin care is a special way both mums and dads can spend time holding their baby and it is an experience parents remember fondly during their hospital stay.

Babies wear only a nappy and are placed in an upright position directly on their dad’s bare chest or between mum’s bare breasts. The baby’s head will be turned to the side and then a blanket is placed on top.

Depending on your baby’s medical condition, you may be able to have your first cuddle the day they are born. Other times, you may need to wait days or weeks before their condition is stable enough for you to do so.

It is a good idea to ask your baby’s nurse when would be a good time, as some days may be better than others depending on how your baby is feeling, how you are feeling or what is going on in the nursery.

Kangaroo care can be done with both premature and full-term babies and is known to have many benefits, such as:

Benefits to Baby

  • Maintain baby’s body temperature
  • Regulates baby’s heart and breathing rates
  • Encourages baby to spend more time in a deep sleep
  • Increases baby’s weight gain
  • Improved oxygen saturation levels
  • Can improve breast milk production and increases the chances of successful breastfeeding
  • Longer periods of alertness
  • Helps promote frequent breastfeeding

Benefits to Parents

  • Can build confidence
  • Increases your bond with baby and can ease feeling of separation
  • Can improve breast milk production and increases the chances of successful breastfeeding
"I visited my son an average of 12 hours everyday and spent most hours next to his bedside. The time I treasured most was our daily Kangaroo cuddles; we would spend 2 hours snuggling together, often with the both of us drifting off to sleep. Though there were lots happening around us it often seemed that we were the only two people in the room."
- Naomi, Miracle Mum to Caden born at 29 weeks.

Parents should not apply strong perfumes and deodorant or smoke before participating in kangaroo care time with their baby. If the doctors feel that cuddling would be too much for your baby, you can still provide them comfort by offering your finger to grasp, talking or singing to them. However, it is always important to speak with your baby's medical team if you have any questions in relation to kangaroo cuddles during this pandemic.

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Finally, thank you again to all the hospital NICU & SCN locations who participated in the 2019 Kangaroo-A-Thon! It was incredibly encouraging to see how hard everyone worked last year. To see the final results from 2019 click HERE.  

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