Kangaroo Care

Bond with your baby and help him or her stay well by practicing kangaroo care—skin-to-skin cuddling. This habit:

  • Steadies your baby’s temperature, heartbeat and breathing rate
  • Improves your baby’s sleep
  • Makes breastfeeding easier
  • Can reduce your stress and discomfort

How Kangaroo Care Works

Right after birth at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nurses will dry off your baby and put a diaper and hat on him or her. They’ll then place your newborn on your chest and cover the infant with a warm blanket. He or she may take the first breast milk, or colostrum, during this time.

We encourage you to rest skin-to-skin with your baby for at least 90 minutes after delivery to help your little one stay warm. Other family members may hold the baby once his or her temperature is stable.

When To Practice Kangaroo Care

You and your partner may practice kangaroo care throughout your hospital stay and at home. You’ll find skin-to-skin cuddling especially useful to:

  • Calm a crying or fussy infant
  • Encourage breastfeeding
  • Warm your baby after a bath

Even if your newborn needs medical attention or the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, your nurses will help you practice kangaroo care as much as possible.

Daily Cuddle Time

While you’re at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, enjoy spending quiet time with your baby every day from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. During cuddle time, visitors other than your partner leave the room, lights are dimmed, and nurses enter only on your request.

Tips For Kangaroo Care At Home

Engage in kangaroo care only when you’re awake and able to safely hold your baby. Follow these steps:

  • Choose a room that’s 72°–78° degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wear a shirt that opens in the front.
  • Sit in a comfortable chair.
  • Place your baby, dressed only in a diaper, on your chest.
  • Use a blanket to cover your baby, except for his or her head.

Nurturing Touch Infant Massage

Meet with a certified infant massage therapist at Healthpark to learn how to use gentle massage to nurture your newborn up to 1 year old. For more information call 270-688-5433.