Bonding with your newborn baby can happen immediately after birthing through a method called Kangaroo Care. This promotes psychological and physical well-being for both your newborn and for you as the mother. Kangaroo Care includes skin-to-skin contact and exclusively breastfeeding.
Kangaroo Care is excellent for both parents, however. Studies show lowered testosterone levels when fathers experience skin-to-skin with their babies. All babies and all parents benefit from Kangaroo Care, regardless on the feeding method.
Kangaroo Care is wonderful for mothers who have problems breastfeeding, too, when needing to feed their newborn formula and/or through a tube. Having your baby suck and nuzzle on empty breasts can help stimulate your milk production. In fact, practicing skin-to-skin contact with the mother stimulates a specific part of the newborn’s brain, causing the baby to instinctively move to the breast, self-attach, and feed. This increases the baby’s physical development. Secondly, kangaroo care causes the baby to gaze at his or her mother, ensuring emotional and social development.
This should begin right after giving birth and is always a great benefit at any time during the first few weeks. For an infant in need such as a premature baby, it can be used continuously day and night however it is beneficial any amount of time it is experienced.
Kangaroo Care Bonding Benefits are amazing!
- Acceleration of your baby’s brain development occurs with bonding through Kangaroo Care, lowering levels of cortisol, the hormone produced when undergoing stress, after just 20 minutes of skin to skin contact.
- Your baby gets better sleep with lowered cortisol levels as well.
- Research shows a baby’s digestive system can be restored to perfect balance after one hour of skin-to-skin contact.
- Your baby will also cry less and be calmer through this bonding tool because your heartbeat and warmth remind them of the safe, familiar world they were once in when inside your womb.
- Thermal synchrony phenomenon occurs as the temperature of your chest increases to warm your cold baby and decreases to cool your overly warm baby.
- Antibodies will pass through your skin to your baby and strengthen your baby’s immune system.
- Kangaroo Care naturally stabilizes the newborn’s respiration and oxygenation, increases glucose levels (reducing hypoglycemia), regulates blood pressure and heart rate, and increases the quiet alert state.
- When you begin bonding skin-to-skin with your baby immediately following birth, they are more likely to breastfeed than a baby who has been swaddled immediately after birth. Furthermore, the more your baby breastfeeds, the sooner your milk comes in and the better your milk supply will be.
- Researchers have found that preterm infants who experience Kangaroo Care have longer periods of sleep, gain more weight, decrease their crying, have longer periods of alertness, and earlier hospital discharge.
- Babies held skin-to-skin by their fathers are proven to have higher temperature and glucose levels compared to those of babies left alone under warmers.
- Depriving babies of skin-to-skin can lead to ADD, colic, and sleep disorders.