A few weeks ago I came across the most amazing story I had read in a while. It was the story of a baby who was born clinically dead - but after a couple of hours of being held by his mother, he slowly came back to life. I was amazed.
Clicky here to read and watch the story of how a certain Ms Kate Ogg revived her son.
OK. Now that you've watched it, don't tell me it didn't make you teary-eyed. I found it spectacular. What this mother did is referred to as Kangaroo Care.
So, what's Kangaroo Care?
In simple terms - it is skin-to-skin therapy of sorts provided by parents usually to premature babies - however it is also beneficial for full term babies too. All it consists of is holding Baby skin-to-skin against you, instead of having layers of clothing/blankets in between you. By holding Baby on your chest, it will be the closest thing to recreating the uterus environment for him/her - which is pretty reassuring.
The idea behind it is that Baby is allowed to listen to your heartbeat and feel your warmth which is reassuring to Baby - especially after such a traumatic experience such as Birth.
By being in contact with your naked skin, it also helps Baby regulate their body temperature more smoothly than what any incubator can achieve.
After reading the aforementioned article, I mentioned it to my midwife on my next visit, and she informed me that skin-to-skin contact is something they encourage even over here. Awesome! That to me indicates that Malta is catching up with the rest of the world when these matters are involved.
Unless your in sub-zero temperatures, I would recommend you give this a shot - you only stand to gain from it really. Kangaroo care benefits you as a parent as it promotes attachment and bonding, improves parental confidence, and helps to promote increased milk production and breastfeeding success. Kangaroo care arguably offers the most benefits for preterm and low birth weight infants, who experience more normalised temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate, increased weight gain, fewer nosocomial infections and reduced incidence of respiratory tract disease Additionally, research has indicated that preterm babies who experience this kind of care have improved cognitive development, decreased stress levels, reduced pain responses, normalised growth, and positive effects on motor development. It also helps to improve sleep patterns of infants, and may be a good intervention for colic. Earlier discharge from hospital is also a possible outcome Finally, kangaroo care helps to promote frequent breastfeeding, and can enhance mother-infant bonding.
Win-win situation that doesn't cost you a penny!
So on this insomniac note, I'll leave you with Australia's finest!