Babies love skin, especially if its mum’s, or even dad’s which is why a premature baby can thrive on prolonged skin-to-skin contact. Also known as kangaroo care, mother’s can act as constant incubators. In fact mothers are so sensitive to their premature baby’s needs they regulate their own skin temperature to keep their baby’s temperature stable. In addition to this they make their breast milk richer to cope with the baby’s special needs. Kangaroo care helps with early brain development and now a study done by the midwives of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells maternity units has shown how this simple technique can benefit all newborns.
Skin-to-skin contact helps a baby adapt to life outside the womb. Pre-term and small babies who have kangaroo care tend to feed little and often, which helps them gain weight more quickly. They also have better temperature control and are calmer and less likely to cry for extended periods, so they use up less energy and that helps weight gain.
Research has also shown babies who enjoy lots of skin-to-skin care with their mother or father, were able to go home earlier from hospital. If you are having a baby and would like to speak to a private midwife our UK based birth team can advise on a whole host of queries from breast feeding and crying baby advice to premature baby advice.