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Kangaroo Mother Care: The Power of Touch and the Benefits of Breastfeeding
Kangaroo Mother Care comes from the idea of how the mammal Kangaroo cares for its joy. Joeys are born prematurely, weighing less than 1 gram and measuring 2 centimeters in length. Out of necessity, the Mother Kangaroo cares for her Joey and places him safely in her pouch until he is at least 9 months old. Premature babies or preemies are born before 35 weeks of gestation. When they are being cared for with Kangaroo Mother Care, they are placed on the mother’s chest between her breasts. Kangaroo Mother Care also allows for physical contact and regular breastfeeding. This helps your preemie grow faster and healthier compared to other preemies who do not receive Kangaroo Mother Care.
What helps premature babies?
Constant physical contact or simply stroking and touching your baby can release oxytocin. It is a hormone produced by your brain that induces relaxation and a sense of security. In addition, regular touch has other benefits for your baby that can speed up his recovery.
• Touch can build a special bond between you and your child; needless to say, the physical connection is also related to the emotional connection you share;
• If you touch your premature baby with gentle and soothing massages, he will gain weight faster. In fact, a baby can gain 50 percent of its original birth weight on a daily basis.
• Many studies have shown how touch increases a premature child’s chances of survival;
• If you give your baby a regular massage or simply caress it, it improves metabolism;
• Your touch gives her a sense of security, which can reduce stress and eliminate or reduce her anxiety.
• More importantly, a touch can speed up healing and studies show how it can help boost your baby’s immune system.
Kangaroo Mother Care promotes breastfeeding
In addition to constant physical contact, another important component of Kangaroo Mother care is the exclusive breastfeeding of the baby. This means that you only give your baby breast milk. Breast milk is best for your baby, especially in the first twelve months of life.
Baby-led breastfeeding and latching while kangarooing allows for regular feeding of the baby. Breast milk provides him with all the nutrients he needs, including protein, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, digestive enzymes, hormones and vitamins. Moreover, breast milk is also rich in antibodies and this helps protect the baby against infections. Other benefits of breastfeeding:
• Provides the baby with enough iron, which protects him from possible anemia;
• Prevents the baby from developing skin problems such as eczema;
• Helps prevent your baby from having diarrhoea;
• Helps regulate the baby’s metabolism and helps him avoid constipation;
• Prevents your baby from having allergies;
• Helps the baby stay away from heavy bleeding;
• Reduces the chance of your baby becoming obese or overweight;
• But apart from these, the natural sweetener in breast milk also helps the baby to avoid the development of diabetes and tooth decay.
What’s more, as your baby enjoys the nutritional benefits of breast milk, breastfeeding also helps:
• Stabilization of mothers’ weight;
• Strengthening the mother-child bond;
• Reducing the risk of difficulties and problems after childbirth;
• Cost-effective and saves time preparing formula or cleaning milk bottles.
Even though breastfeeding is natural, more information about breastfeeding your baby is just as important, especially for first-time moms. We recommend that you consult your healthcare professional to ask questions or seek advice. So if you breastfeed your baby, not only will your baby enjoy the benefits of breastfeeding, but you will also benefit from it.
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