Bronson Children’s Hospital Hosts Third Annual Kangaroo-A-Thon
Bronson Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) recently participated in the third annual Kangaroo-a-thon. The event focuses on skin-to-skin care of newborns, otherwise known as kangaroo care.
During kangaroo care, babies are placed on the bare chest of the parent, similar to the way kangaroos carry their young. Kangaroo care reduces baby discomfort, stress and the risk of infections. It also helps keep the baby warm, stabilize the heart rate and promote brain development and weight gain. For both parents, it helps with bonding, and reducing stress, and for the mother, it can increase her supply of breast milk.
Overall, kangaroo care helps new parents gain confidence in the touch and care of their baby. Because of those benefits, hospitals around the world take part in Kangaroo-a- thon.
While the staff in the Bronson Children’s Hospital’s NICU always encourage skin-to-skin care with newborns, during the annual Kangaroo-a-thon, it is in the spotlight.
For example, one of neonatologists, Dr. Jennifer Wherley, dressed up in a kangaroo costume to deliver kangaroo themed books to thank families for all they do to care for their babies and to teach about the importance of skin-to-skin holding.
“Kangaroo-a-thon is a fun way for staff and families to focus on the benefits of kangaroo care,” says Ruth Ritzema a Parent Liaison for the Bronson NICU. ““There are so many ways skin-to-skin contact gives a boost not only for the babies, for the parents, too.”