Monday, January 24, 2011

mama monday: kangaroo care

Last night we went to visit our friends, the Boergers, which included some serious snuggle time with their adorable 3 month old son, Noah.

Since the weather here in The Great White North has been akin to this:

And I haven't felt truly warm since mid-October, it was a treat to sit down on a couch with a sleeping newborn and steal some of his toasty-warmness.

It reminded me of an New York Times article Andrew sent me a few weeks back on something called "Kangaroo Care".  Kangaroo Care started as a solution to overcrowded and under-budgeted hospitals in Columbia.  Without the money to provide for enough incubators, doctors began bundling newborns, including premies, to their mothers' - skin on skin.  The drop in infancy mortality was so significant that medical communities in more "developed" nations began to take note.
"The babies stay warm, their own temperature regulated by the sympathetic biological responses that occur when mother and infant are in close physical contact. The mother’s breasts, in fact, heat up or cool down depending on what the baby needs. [...] Feeling the mother’s breathing and heartbeat helps the babies to stabilize their own heart and respiratory rates. They sleep more. They can breastfeed at will, and the constant contact encourages the mother to produce more milk."

Although most of our medical approach to pregnancy and childbirth, including incubation, is for the safety and well-being of mother and child I wonder if we miss the forest for the trees.  Having just spent the last nine months (or eight, or seven...or, in some cases, five) gestating in their mom's womb, which is nine months longer than they've spent in any other environment, wouldn't being close to her be the most natural transition?

It makes me think of how fearfully and wonderfully made we are and how much creativity goes into the birth of a new person.  And how those people grow up and become scientists, doctors, researchers and New York Times bloggers who can tell us incredible facts about childbirth.


Angela said...

Have you seen this story?

Sarah Aubrey said...

"We told him what his name was and that he had a sister. We told him the things we wanted to do with him throughout his life."


heather mcfeather said...

we 'kangaroo'd' with our little man every day and spoke out blessings over his life, untill he could crawl away from us (well still speaking out blessings even though he can get away), and still when he's upset or at night time. snuggle snuggle snuggle. There are soo many studies that prove it helps with their brain growth and development, their security. closeness and intimacy is sooo good for babes! it is quite amazing :) and lots of special time with mommy (and daddy)

beth said...

When they placed Adelaide on me seconds after she was out of the womb, skin on skin, it was so powerful. I knew that she grew to the sound of my heartbeat - it was the safest pattern she knew.
And she even knew my smell... and exactly where to find the milk!

Cuddles tucked up in bed, or in the bath, or skin on skin with daddy...ahhhh those are the best.

That is why I loved our sling and our Snugli backpack/frontsack. I would recommend them as must-haves. It was a little bit like being a mummy kangaroo!

Love you, Sarah! Thanks for this shmooshy cute post :)