A mother participates in Kangaroo Care with her newborn while in the NICU at MedStar Franklin Square.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is often a loud, bright and unnatural world. All the machines, equipment and your baby's illness may seem like a barrier between you and your new baby. Kangaroo Care is a special way only you can help your baby.
Kangaroo Care, also called skin-to-skin contact, is a wonderful way to be close to your baby. Kangaroo care has many benefits for your baby including regulating their temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and sleep pattern. It also benefits moms by increasing your breast milk production and allows both moms and dads to bond with your new baby.
Kangaroo Care is one of many special initiatives MedStar Franklin Square has in place to improve the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for even the most fragile infants—resulting in 95% of mothers being able to provide breast milk to their infants while in the NICU.
Our goal is to begin Kangaroo Care within the first 24 hours of your baby’s life as long as you and your baby are medically able to. Your baby may still require oxygen support through different machines such as a ventilator, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), or Nasal Cannula. Kangaroo Care can still be performed in these situations under supervision from our highly trained medical and nursing staff.
Kangaroo Care will take place at your infant’s bed spot. We will help find you a comfortable chair with a footrest to relax your legs and feet. You will be asked to wear either a button down shirt or to change into a hospital gown. During Kangaroo Care, your baby will wear only a diaper and a hat and be placed upright against your unclothed chest. A receiving blanket will be placed over you and your baby. Kangaroo Care is recommended to be performed for at least an hour. We encourage you to do this daily, as long as your baby is medically able to.
You and the staff will work together to choose an appropriate time for both you and your infant to perform Kangaroo Care. It is best for your infant if it takes place around their care times. You, along with the staff, will assess your baby’s readiness for and tolerance of Kangaroo Care.
For more information, please call 443-777-7050.
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237