Kangaroo Care helpful to newborns - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Kangaroo Care helpful to newborns

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Babies who are born prematurely need lots of special care and often spend weeks, even months in a hospital. There is a way parents can bond with their babies while they're in the hospital.  It's called Kangaroo care because parents hold their babies close on bare their skin like kangaroos.

Phoebe Putney wants to spread the word about the benefits of technique.

Newborn babies who need special medical attention are often admitted to the neonatal ICU, which can be overwhelming for a parent at times. At Phoebe there is a way a parent can bond with their baby just as they would do at home.

Alyssha Cox recently gave birth to her first daughter, Ava Grace. But her daughter was born premature, something she was unprepared for. "She basically came because I had a blood disorder," she said.

Until her baby is strong enough to go home, Ava sleeps in the neonatal unit at Phoebe. "She's learning to feed and suck a bottle and then she can come home once she learns to eat," said Cox.

Thanks to a technique called "Kangaroo Care" she is still able to spend special quality time with her baby at the hospital. "It is skin to skin contact, where you are putting baby in nothing but a diaper on the mother's bare chest," said Misti Henderickson.

Just as a kangaroo holds its baby in their pouch "kangarooing" helps generate heat and comfort to a newborn, in addition to other health benefits. "It helps regulate heart rate, repository rate and  temperature," said Henderickson.

It also gives parents a way to contribute to their babies care, even when their newborn may seem untouchable. "A lot of time when babies come in here they are very intimidated by the whole atmosphere, being on monitors and stuff like that, so that whole bonding period is interrupted," said Henderickson.

Now all members of the family can come visit in a special family room, Phoebe recently added on. "Basically you feel like you are at home and it feels private," said Cox.

Cox says its been an especially important bonding time for her son, since he is not able to go into the neonatal ICU. "He gets in this chair and holds her and sings to her, its good bonding time," said Cox.

She is hopeful her baby will come home soon, but says she is thankful Ava is in good hands until she can do so.

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