• Kristina Mulligan

Cuddling Like a Kangaroo

Kangaroo care, sometimes called skin-to-skin, is a technique where babies are kept chest-to-chest and skin-to-skin with a parent. Kangaroo care is safe and beneficial, even if your baby is connected to machines, but each NICU has a different policy on when this practice can start. In our case, Flynn was able to receive skin-to-skin care in his first week of life. This picture was the very first time we kangarooed.

Research has shown much success in the areas of bonding, breastfeeding, temperature regulation, and development. Above all, kangaroo care reduces stress and pain levels for both the parent and child. Just 10 minutes of skin-to-skin contact reduces babies' levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and increases levels of the "cuddle hormone"oxytocin, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to make babies feel calm and safe.

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