Kangaroo Care: The Low-Tech Phenomenon Saving Mothers and Babies Alike
Approximately 15.2% of all births in the United States end in low birth weight infants (less than 2,500 grams) resulting from prematurity (UVa Health.com, 2006). Nearly all of these babies will be sent to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where the level of maternal contact will vary depending on the different facility protocols. Kangaroo Care (KC), also known as skin-to-skin care, has been shown to have numerous positive results for both the mother and infant in the NICU setting. It has been shown through evidenced- based practice that KC is beneficial for a preterm infant’s vitals and stability with improvements in thermoregulation, cardiovascular and respiratory health, weight gain, and quiet sleep time both during and after therapy. Mothers who have used KC have experienced increased attachment and bonding to their infants as well as fewer anxious and depressive symptoms and fewer instances of post-partum depression. The purpose of this case study is to gain greater understanding of KC by exploring the experience of KC with a preterm infant-mother couple.