Join the movement and advocate for the right of every newborn (preemie, full term, healthy, or ill) to be held in skin-to-skin contact, chest to chest with the parent, and celebrate Kangaroo Care Day on May 15th, 2019. Raise awareness of the multiple benefits to the baby and parents and improve the safety and practice of Kangaroo Care Method/Skin-To-Skin Contact. Improve neuroprotection, breastfeeding, mental health, and well-being of babies and parents for a lifetime. Globally, hospital staff in Neonatal Intensive Care Units, Pediatric Units, Post-partum, and parents at home prepare to honor parents,babies, and those who care for them in hospitals in their own communities on May 15th – It is a day not to be missed.
Marking memorable and nurturing milestone achievements over the past few years, comes again a day never to be missed, a day called the International Kangaroo Care Awareness Dayor Kangaroo are Day, slated to be witnessed on May 15th, 2019 in hospitals and homes globally. The sole goal of this celebration is to improve the practice, safety, and create adequate awareness of Kangaroo Care (also called skin to skin contact) to the world, while keeping participants engaged in the practice throughout the process.
Overtime, the International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day (May 15th) is known to be a global event celebrated since 2011 by local communities that appreciate newborns, parents, volunteers, professionals, and organizations. Each hospital celebrates in their own way, lead by their own staff, and engaging their own community, including participating in contests of what baby is held the longest, or between hospital units on who clocks more hours of kangaroo care.
In past years, many physicians believed premature babies needed to be isolated to prevent infections, conserve their temperature, and strength. Now inspiration has been taken from kangaroos and other marsupials that nurture their young in a pouch as soon as they are born. The Kangaroo Care Method has now become much more than a way to keep babies warm and over 5000 studies have proven that it has multiple benefits for parents and for babies. It is practiced in the first 3-6 months of the baby’s life. No wonder it is called the magical welcome for the “Fourth Trimester” of pregnancy.
May 15th of each year is widely celebrated as the Kangaroo Care Day for babies from birth to 3 months old (preemie, full term, healthy or sick). The Kangaroo Care Method promotes non-separation and the right of babies to be held skin to skin with a loved one. Going back to the history of the practice it was first pioneered in Colombia in the 1970s by a pediatrician who was looking for a way to keep premature babies warm in an area that was too poor to have incubators. Babies not only survived but they thrived when they were held skin to skin contact with the mother. Now this practice is proven beneficial in high-tech environment in developed countries.
In a recent press release statement from the founder of the International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day, Yamile Jackson, PhD, PE, PMP, said,
“I held my son, Zachary, in skin to skin contact when he was born prematurely on May 15th,2001 in Houston, Texas weighing less than 2 pounds. He was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 5 months. The NICU is an intimidating place, where you see your tiny baby fighting to survive. It is full of equipment, loud by alarm sounds, but when I “connected by touch” with Zachary, my world (and his) changed. Holding him skin to skin kept him warm and alive (and kept me calm) when his hospital and life-support equipment lost power due to the deluge of Tropical Storm Allison when he was only 3 weeks old.
Even now, Zachary, Larry and I keep experiencing the positive outcomes of Kangaroo Care. The Kangaroo Care Day’s mission is to accelerate the transition from evidence of kangaroo care to its implementation and practice. Staff supports parents to hold as long as possible, as uninterrupted as possible and as prolonged as possible, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day started as an idea to honor Zachary keeping my promise that his pain and struggle to survive the flood were not in vain. The day was designed to raise awareness of the kangaroo care method/skin to skin contact for parents, staff, and community at large; and to advocate for the safe practice to protect the baby. Zachary turns 18 this year, wants to be an automotive engineer, and he is healthy and full of life.”
Now the Kangaroo Care Day is a team of parents, professionals, volunteers from around the world that are dedicated to finding ways to encourage and enhance the practice to accelerate the implementation of the Kangaroo Care Method in their own communities. Hospitals around the world celebrate in their own way and are making important strides and significant difference by providing a platform that changes the world to each baby and parent that participates.
The Kangaroo Care Day team is calling on every parent and perinatal professional to join hands,raise the voice, join the movement, and celebrate on May 15th every year, to surround the parents’ and babies’ world with love and help increase the implementation of the Kangaroo Care Method. Contact your local hospital to find out how they are celebrating.
The Kangaroo Care Day team joins virtually all organizations that advocate for babies and parents that have voiced their support for the practice of the Kangaroo Care Method, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Save the Children, The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, The National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), The National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT), International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC), the NIDCAP Federation International (NFI), and many more.
About Kangaroo Care Day
They are a group of parents, friends, organizations, volunteers, and perinatal professionals from around the world that organize creative solutions to accelerate the implementation and safety of evidence-based kangaroo care. They believe that every newborn and parent have the right to feel loved, develop body, mind, and soul in the best possible conditions, and thrive. They support and empower local communities to celebrate, share, and engage others to raise awareness, safety, education, and the practice of Kangaroo Care / skin-to-skin contact for newborns, especially those in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) and other hospital units then at home.