Why do we need an awareness day for something so simple? The fact is that the benefits of kangaroo mother care are not known throughout the world. Unbelievably, in some developing countries, and even in the UK at times, kangaroo care is seen as primitive, and that incubators and artificial forms of care are somehow superior to a mother or father's love and care. I'm not saying incubators aren't important, they are of course, and having the latest equipment is essential too, but particularly in developing countries, implementing simple measures can and will save lives. It is estimated 444 000 babies could be saved by a programme of kangaroo care in developing countries.
I wasn't given access to Joseph for kangaroo care until he was a month old, and he wasn't a particularly needy neonate, the hospital just hadn't come across a mother wanting to do it before, with such a young baby. In some hospitals babies are offered kangaroo care whilst still ventilated. I also felt passionately that my husband needed to kangaroo too, and this wasn't encouraged either. So we just did it!
In the UK this is changing. Hospitals are implementing more and more family centred care initiatives, and the benefits of kangaroo care in the UK are largely accepted, so if you do need to challenge there are some clear resources you can use.
Where the real issue is, is in the developing world, which I outlined in this post during the release of the Born Too Soon report.
If you are passionate about this, join in today, tweet, share and spread the word. If you work within hospitals, raise awareness about kangaroo care. It's up to us, as mothers, to help those mothers without resources, without a voice. I remind you again that Save the Children are working hard on this issue internationally.
When I first had kangaroo care with Joseph, it healed my heart. I felt bonded with him, I felt like his mother, that he was mine for the first time since birth. It's just so important. Here are what some fellow mothers had to say.
bonding, happy baby, happy mum, boosted milk supply and a great shift when I enable it, especially with teenie vented babies :-) Karen
The first time I got to really bond with my son :-) Sammantha
It means everything to me too, he's almost 2 and we still have Kangaroo cuddles although he can't fit down my top anymore! Helen
To me it means bonding with the baby who shouldn't be there and proving the doctors wrong. Nikki
Kangaroo Care reminds me of the very first time I got to hold Ellen, 5 weeks old and on 40%+ oxygen but 2 mins on my chest and her oxygen could be reduced to 21% Sarah
It saved my son and I. Susanne
The first time i held my babies after delivery and 6 days in nicu 2 days after i had been discharged. was the most amazing, emotional and tender moment that made me feel like i was really their mum! irreplaceable and never forgotten. VanessaPlease do what you can to help more mothers bond and care for their babies the way nature intended, and for doctors and nurses to understand the power of kangaroo care.