Mater Mothers’ Hospitals bound through Kangaroo-a-thon

Mater Mothers’ Hospitals bound through Kangaroo-a-thon

Beginning on International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day, Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) participated in an international Kangaroo-a-thon, promoting the benefits of Kangaroo Mother Care, also known as skin-to-skin, between parents and their baby.

Parents were asked to record the hours spent kangaroo cuddling with their baby from 15 to 29 May.

Over the two week period Mater Mothers’ Hospitals’ NCCU recorded 29 280 minutes of cuddles―that is 448 hours, more than 20 days or almost three straight weeks of cuddling. This resulted in an average of 2.49 hours of cuddles per baby, per day.

The top kangaroo cuddlers recorded 47 hours and 15 minutes cuddling their baby, and parents of twins recorded 89 hours and 45 minutes of cuddling between the two babies.

Last year’s national hospital winner recorded an average of 1.42 hours per baby, per day, while the international hospital winner recorded 2.56 hours per baby, per day.

NCCU Clinical Facilitator Natalie Loriaux-Dyer explained that Kangaroo Care started in South America out of necessity.

“In the early 1980s, doctors were running out of options with too many babies and not enough incubators or a reliable electricity supply. Premature babies were given to their mothers to hold and cuddle on their chest around the clock—and the babies did well—they kept warm, continued breathing, increased feeding and were able to go home.”

Research continues to show many benefits to parents and their babies including enhanced bonding, stabilised heart rate, breathing and temperature, reduced infant and maternal stress, increased milk supply, brain development and earlier discharge from hospital.

NCCU Nurse Karina Bates said the Kangaroo-a-thon presented a great opportunity to reiterate the importance of something Mater Mothers is already actively promoting.

“Kangaroo care is something I feel very passionate about being a mother myself, I can't imagine what it would be like not to be able to hold my baby whenever I wanted.

“The Kangaroo-a-thon has strengthened the bond between nurses, parents and their baby in the NCCU environment which can often be stressful for families. It was particularly special to include the extended family with Kangaroo-a-thon events focussing on mums, dads, siblings and grandparents,” said Karina.

Natalie said that in all of Mater’s work in science and technology, with all the care and attention put into our actions, we cannot replace the parental touch.

“Providing your special and unique touch through skin-to-skin is one of the joys which helps cushion the worries.”

View photos from Mater Mothers' Kangaroo-a-thon on Facebook.


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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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