Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kangaroo Care

I'd never come across this expression before, but having just seen a mob of grey marsupials bounding through the bush just north of Perth, my eye was caught by the expression when reading about how Mums are a tad better at reducing their "Prem" babies perception of pain than Dad's are, when using "Kangaroo Care".

Firstly, the research comes from the McGill University School of Nursing in Montreal, and Dr. C. Celeste Johnston who looked at how babies reacted to having blood taken in the Premature Baby Unit of the Maternity hospital. They reviewed the babies responses when having blood taken from a heel prick, with the babe being held by either Mum, Dad or just lying in the cot. They graded the facial expressions of the babies and gave them a score out of 21.

Now to the Kangaroo Care: this is so simple,it's beautiful! The baby just wears a nappy and is held against Mum or Dads bear chest whilst the two of them are wrapped in a sheet - so the baby feels the warm skin of a parent - just like Skippy!

In fact there was very little difference between the two parents when it came to who "won", but they were both well ahead of the poor mite being left in the cot and having the procedure performed all on  it's little lonesome.

I didn't see any record of whether the fathers had hairy chests, which would be an interesting variable to throw into any statistical analysis, but in the authors case, that wouldn't be an issue anyway! But the joy of the findings should encourage all parents to nourish and nurture the physical contact that is so rewarding to both parent and child!


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