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Friday, May 7, 2010

In the Pouch: Kangaroo care for newborns

My Latest article on Natural Mothering.

In the Pouch: Kangaroo care for newborns

His first cradle is the warm cozy womb that sways to and fro, gently rocking him as his mother walks through the park or dances in the the living room with his big brother.

His first lullaby is the sound of the beat and swoosh of his mothers heart, mommy's beautiful voice talking to his daddy, laughing with a friend, singing and reading to his big sister.

He is protected by the warm wet cocoon inside his mothers belly. He receives his food and oxygen directly from his mothers body.

They are not two. They are One.

His birth is a momentous occasion, both exciting and scary. Hormones flood into him to prepare him for his grand entry into this shocking world- so cold, bright and loud. All of a sudden he is no longer lulled to sleep by the sound of his mothers heartbeat. He is no longer gently rocking in his warm safe cocoon. He has been separated and cries out in fear- bereft, stranded, solitary and unattached...

Then suddenly he is enveloped in warmth, laying wet and slippery on his mothers chest. He hears it- the beating of his mothers heart. He hears her voice, so clearly for the first time. He knows what he needs and he seeks out that attachment, the physical bond to tie them back together. Little toes flex and dig into his mother soft belly as he wiggles and squirms forward, his little mouth open and questing. The sound of her voice draws him forward. Her arms support him in his journey. In a feat of strength and coordination that is truly amazing he reaches his goal and re-establishes their physical bond. As he suckles her nipple, drops of liquid gold land on his tongue. Food yes, but so much more. Each drops reattaches him to his "self", brings him back to his core being. He lays on his mothers chest drinking the precious drops, listening to her heart beat and her voice, hearing it both from within and without. Her arms around him holding him close, warming him with her body. He relaxes. He breathes in and out and his breath calms. His heart beats in a steady rhythm. He is soothed.

Though this new world is so big, and a bit frightening in its brightness and noise, He is secure and calm. He is with his other self, who protects him with her loving arms, warms him with her skin, comforts him with her steady heart beat and voice, and nurtures him with her breasts.

He is content.

Kangaroo care is a way of nurturing a baby, to enhance skin-to-skin contact between the baby and the parent. The baby, wearing only a diaper, is held upright against the parent’s bare chest. The term kangaroo care is used because the method is similar to how a baby kangaroo is nurtured by its mother - from the safe environment of the womb to the safe environment of the pouch where further maturation of the baby occurs. Skin-to-skin contact promotes more consistent heart and respiratory rates; it stabilizes oxygen needs; it aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels; it regulates body temperature; and improves weight gain and helps increase breast milk supply....
HERE to read the entire article on Natural Mothering

 Dani and Kael- 1 minuted after his birth
Daddy Bonding Time, Nick and Kael- 3 weeks old