Kangaroo-a-thon

KANGAROO CARE AWARENESS

The goal of our Kangaroo-A-Thon is to encourage all NICU and SCN Units to actively promote Kangaroo Care and log as many hours of kangaroo holding (including modified holding) in a two week period. We hope you can host an event across the two week duration in May. We want to see as many hours of brain developing, neuro-protective, attachment building, and immunity boosting good times.

Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto Canada found that a kangaroo-a-thon was a fantastic way to break down barriers, unite staff and families with a common goal and witness the transformation of parents, as they were encouraged to cuddle with their infant.

What do you need to do?

We have a tool kit you can us to, promote, educate and host your kangarooing event. The idea is to break down obstacles that may discourage your unit from doing this. We encourage you to;

What is Kangaroo Care?

Kangaroo care or skin-to-skin contact is a special way both mums and dads can spend time holding their baby and it is an experience parents remember fondly during their hospital stay.

Babies wear only a nappy and are placed in an upright position directly on their dad’s bare chest or between mum’s bare breasts. The baby’s head will be turned to the side and then a blanket is placed on top.

Depending on your baby’s medical condition, you may be able to have your first cuddle the day they are born. Other times, you may need to wait days or weeks before their condition is stable enough for you to do so.

It is a good idea to ask your baby’s nurse when would be a good time, as some days may be better than others depending on how your baby is feeling, how you are feeling or what is going on in the nursery.

Kangaroo care can be done with both premature and full-term babies and is known to have many benefits, such as:

Benefits to Baby:

  • Maintain baby’s body temperature
  • Regulates baby’s heart and breathing rates
  • Encourages baby to spend more time in a deep sleep
  • Increases baby’s weight gain
  • Improved oxygen saturation levels
  • Can improve breast milk production and increases the chances of successful breastfeeding
  • Longer periods of alertness
  • Helps promote frequent breastfeeding

Benefits to Parents:

  • Can build confidence
  • Increases your bond with baby and can ease feeling of separation
  • Can improve breast milk production and increases the chances of successful breastfeeding

"I visited my son an average of 12 hours everyday and spent most hours next to his bedside. The time I treasured most was our daily Kangaroo cuddles; we would spend 2 hours snuggling together, often with the both of us drifting off to sleep. Though there were lots happening around us it often seemed that we were the only two people in the room." - Naomi, Miracle Mum to Caden born at 29 weeks.

Parents should not apply strong perfumes and deodorant or smoke before participating in kangaroo care time with their baby. If the doctors feel that cuddling would be too much for your baby, you can still provide them comfort by offering your finger to grasp, talking or singing to them. However, it is always important to speak with your baby's medical team if you have any questions in relation to kangaroo cuddles during this pandemic.

Previous Kangaroo-a-thons: 
Thank you to all the hospital NICU & SCN locations who participated in the 2021 Kangaroo-A-Thon! It was incredibly encouraging to see how hard everyone worked to promote this vital campaign. We hope you all had a hopping good time and increased education and awareness with your families and staff.  

2022 Participating Hospitals:

NSW:

Auburn Hospital 

Bankstown- Lidcombe Hospital

Campbelltown Public Hospital 

Dubbo Base Hospital 

Fairfield Hospital

Liverpool Public Hospital 

Royal North Shore Hospital 

Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital 

Westmead Hospital 

 

VIC:

Frankston Hospital

Goulburn Valley Health Shepparton 

Monash Children's Hospital

 

QLD:

Cairns Hospital 

Townsville Hospital 

Rockingham General Hospital 

Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital 

Rockhampton Hospital

 

ACT:

 

SA:

Flinders Medical Centre

 

NT:

Royal Darwin Hospital

 

WA:

Fiona Stanley Hospital

St John of God Subiaco 

 

TAS:

Launceston General Ward

Royal Hobart Hospital 

 

INTERNATIONAL:

Munson Medical Center

Capital and Coast District Health Board- Wellington

Beacon Children's Hospital 

 

 

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