Kangaroo Care Day

May 15, 2021

Memorial Staff

skin to skin newborn and mom

Kangaroo Care Day #kangaroocareday is celebrated every year on May 15.

It is a global event celebrated since 2011 to raise awareness, safety, education, and the practice of Kangaroo Care (i.e., skin-to-skin contact for newborns), especially those in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and other hospital units then at home.

Kangaroo Care, also called skin-to-skin contact, is a wonderful way to build a bond between newborn babies and their moms, dads, and others. Kangaroo care means holding your diapered baby on your bare chest for dads or between your breasts for moms. 

How can kangaroo care help your baby?

  • Earlier hospital discharge
  • Keep their body warm
  • Keep their heart and breathing regular
  • Increased weight gain
  • Spend more time in deep sleep
  • Spend more time being quiet when awake and less time crying
  • Breast milk is readily available and accessible, and strengthens the infant's immune system.
  • Reduces neonatal mortality
  • Less incidence and severity of infection
  • Maternal contact causes a calming effect with decreased stress
  • Enhanced attachment and bonding
  • Positive effects on infant's cognitive development
  • Restful sleep

How can kangaroo care help moms and dads?

  • Make more breast milk
  • Resilience and feelings of confidence, competence, and satisfaction regarding baby care
  • Reduce your stress
  • Feel close to your baby

Kangaroo care has emotional benefits for you, too. It builds your confidence as you provide intimate care that can improve your baby's health and well being. You are giving something special to your baby that only you can give. By holding your baby skin-to-skin, you will feel the experience of new parenthood and closeness to your baby. Kangaroo care is healing in many ways, for both you and your baby.

Kangaroo care is a special way for you to hold your infant that gives the baby skin-to-skin contact. The baby wears only a diaper and is held close against your chest. Since your infant already knows you by your scent, touch, and the way your voice and heartbeat sound, he or she is most comfortable close to you. Both parents can do kangaroo care.