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Skin on skin

Skin on skin contact is the best way for parents and their baby to bond according to Kate Stokes, Frankston Hospital’s Special Care Nursery Acting Nurse Unit Manager.

The bonding technique, known as Kangaroo Care, encourages skin on skin contact between baby and parent. Bonding in this way creates a sharing of natural closeness and has an array of benefits for both baby and parent.

“We encourage both parents to actively bond through Kangaroo Care with their new baby, not just mums,” said Ms Stokes.

“Bonding between dads and their newborns is essential to the baby’s development and also helps dads feel more involved with the birth and care of their child.

“The benefits of Kangaroo Care for babies can include longer periods of alertness, less crying and less chance of colic. It can also improve weight gain, body temperature and stabilises the heart rate and breathing.

“The benefits for mums include increased lactation and shorter hospital stays. Both parents experience a boost in parental confidence and a reduction in feelings of separation from their baby,” said Ms Stokes.

Kangaroo Care is the latest topic to be covered by a specialised information board developed by the Special Care Nursery team that encourages parents to learn about new information and techniques that will help them bond and care for their newborns.

“We will be featuring all different topics that can help new parents,’ said Ms Stokes.

“We want to be able to give them peace of mind about looking after and bonding with their new baby once they go home,” said Ms Stokes.