Kangaroo Care Awareness Day

Today is #KangarooCareAwarenessDay

I’m sure most people will have heard of ‘kangaroo care’ for premature babies in the neonatal unit. When baby is placed inside their parents top for skin-to-skin contact. It has incredible benefits for parents & baby such as regulating babys temperature and boosting milk supply.

Unfortunately though its not always possible for baby to come out of their incubator for kangaroo cuddles, so I wanted to share some information about ‘containment holding’.

As many of you know by the time Arlo was 3 months old we’d only been able to hold him 3 times. He was too unstable the majority of the time and at one point he was so poorly we could only change his nappy every 8 hours because he found being moved so distressing he would immediately drop his heart rate and saturation levels through the floor.

One thing we could do though was containment holding. This is done by placing one hand around baby’s head and the other around their lower half and just holding them with still touch. The picture here is Daddy & Arlo enjoying some Containment Holding on day 68.

Touch is the largest sensory organ and the first to develop in utero. Often for babys in the NICU their first experience of touch is through uncomfortable and sometimes painful procedures so containment holding is a brilliant way of introducing some positive nurturing touch. It can help calm, comfort and reassure baby, as well as promoting bonding and giving parents a sense of involvement in their babys care.

One of the hardest things about having a baby in the neonatal unit is the feeling of total helplessness, of thinking there’s nothing you can do to help your baby. Containment holding really helped us feel involved and like we were doing something to support and reassure him, until he was finally well enough for us to have those long awaited cuddles 💜

#kangaroocare #containmentholding #prematurityawareness #prematurebaby #familyintergratedcare