Kangaroo care saves a prem baby’s life.

Take a look at this story from Australia. The prem baby boy was pronounced dead at birth but with two hours of skin to skin with his mother he began to breath, move and finally suckle. Doctors were shocked.

This is called Kangaroo care and it’s something I believe in very strongly as I firmly believe it kept my daughter Avila alive when she was a baby.

She was very unwell from the moment she was born, but we were both very blessed that despite her problems breathing and the uncertainty of the pediatrician at the time, she wasn’t taken off me and put in the NICU. Instead I was allowed to keep her in bed with me. – skin to skin. We were like it for hours at a time over the next few days.

Back home over the next 2 years Avila had a tendency to stop breathing, especially at night. I never put her in another room to sleep even in the day. I keep her next to me so that should she stop breathing I could revive her.

At night we co-slept. When she stopped breathing – sometimes up to four times in one night- I was always aware very quickly and would rub her chest, sit her up and rub her back until she made that gasp to kick start the breathing again.

For all her hospital admissions (and I felt like we lived in the Children’s at one point) she always slept with me, even during the awful one where she was just so desperately ill it was truly frightening.

I am sure that kangaroo care saved her life.

It is so easy to do and there has been a huge body of research on this since the days when Russian hospitals introduced it as (much like the NHS) they had not equipment for mothers and sick babies.

Avila was finally able to move into her own room just after she turned 2 and breathed through the night every night. She is doing well these days, though still has some health problems – but she’s pretty fit and healthy all things considered.

2 responses to “Kangaroo care saves a prem baby’s life.

  1. Yes, I’m sure it is natural instinct to want to be close to your baby, and especially if you are worried that they will stop breathing. The NHS seem to be running a campaign against the dangers of co-sleeping. The last time I was at the Drs surgery I was opposite a poster that warned of the danger under a picture of a baby floating up with angels wings. This idea that when children die they turn into angels, really irritates my husband.

  2. Liz, I have long suspected the NHS is a complete shambles when it comes to research based practice. it simply goes by fashion-based practice. Four years ago when I was in hospital pregnant with Heleyna there were posters up saying co-sleeping is good.
    The research internationally shows the value of co-sleeping.
    Deaths that are due to co-sleeping are actually due to drugs and alcohol.

    No doctor cared that Avila didn’t breathe through the night until she had been doing so for a few months and a new Paediatrician on taking her history learned of what I;d had to do. He was horrified, especially when i told him no medic had given it any attention.
    I have had so many experiences like this both in my nursing days and as a patient that I have absolutely no trust in the medical profession at all.

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