Birth Stories

Kangaroo Care

When my daughter Emma was born they had us do what is called “Kangaroo Care.” They would place the baby chest to chest and allow our body heat to keep her warm and a blanket on her. I would go to the hospital everyday during one of her tube feedings and she would lay on me for 3 hours. I wouldn’t give her up a minute sooner. That was the maximum amount of time they would let me Kangaroo her.

Kangaroo Care was amazing. From what I had read about it, it was developed by a doctor in Colombia, SA. The research shows that babies who have experienced kangaroo care were hospitalized less frequently, had fewer infections, continued to breastfeed, experienced less motor delays, and were discharged from the NICU earlier. I have to say that all of that was true for Emma except breastfeeding. I did not produce any milk so she was formula fed. She never even had an ear infection her first year of life, she had no motor skill delay, and was discharged from the NICU 2 weeks sooner than her due date. Even after she came home from the NICU, she and I kangarooed during her nap times. If I wanted her to sleep longer I had to lay her on me. She would sleep 3 hours easily (of course I got nothing done). If I put her in her bassinette she would sleep 1/2 hour- 1 hour at the most. She spent her first year basically sleeping on me or strapped to me during her waking hours. Today at age 10 she is a momma’s girl. We are struggling with a bit of separation anxiety though. She gets a lot of invitations for sleep-overs by her friends and she does very well with friends during the day. As soon as it is sleep time, she seems to have anxiety. She calls me crying that she misses me and wants me to come pick her up. I gave in a few times but then I realized I was supporting a bad behavior and the last time she did that I told her that if I went to pick her up, she would have no more sleep-overs…not over a friend’s house nor a friend over ours. She stayed the night at the friend’s house.

Maureen H. – McKinney, TX