Kangaroo Care (extended periods of skin-to-skin contact between a baby and their parents) is associated with women being more likely to produce breast milk (1997) and with improved bonding (1998). It also has a number of other positive health outcomes, including:

  • reducing the baby’s susceptibility to infection (2011)
  • reduced mortality (2011)
  • helping stabilise the baby’s temperature (2011)
  • reduced hospital stay (2011)
  • improved mother infant interaction: improvement in mother’s sensitivity, infant responsiveness and perceptions of social support and  decrease in mothers’ feelings of worry and stress (2011)
  • better cognitive development and brain maturation (2003) and (2003)

Kangaroo Care Stickers Project

Best Beginnings and Bliss are collaborating to support family-centered care across the UK. As part of our collaboration, the charities have launched a national Kangaroo Care Sticker Project with the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. We have produced a new pack of stickers and record charts to promote the uptake of Kangaroo Care.

The idea for the project came from Small Wonders Champion Claire Campbell, a nurse at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, during the Bliss Baby Charter audit process at the RVI when parents identified that they would like more opportunity for skin-to-skin with their babies.

The project aims to help neonatal staff increase the rates and duration of Kangaroo Care for babies on their unit as the stickers provide a simple, cost effective and highly visual way of keeping track of which babies have been having skin to skin.

The weekly chart facilitates tracking of duration as well as frequency of Kangaroo Care and highlights the importance of extended periods in skin-to-skin. 

Ideally the stickers should be used in conjunction with other materials aimed at supporting family-centred care such as the Small Wonders DVD (the stickers to link perfectly with Chapter 5 - holding your baby). The pack advises that ideally, parents should be given the opportunity to give skin to skin twice a day as this supports the bonding process and allows parents to get to know their baby.

For more information to help parents understand their sick or premature baby staff can use: the Bliss booklet ‘Look at me – I’m talking to you’; the ‘First hours’ film of the Small Wonders DVD and ‘Your time in hospital’ film on the Small Wonders DVD. Most neonatal units now have the Small Wonders DVD and you can find out whether or not your hospital does by clicking find out whether or not your hospital does by clicking here. The full Small Wonders DVD is also available to watch online.

The Kangaroo Care Sticker Project launched in early May 2013 and since then Bliss has sent out a pack (which are free of charge) to every neonatal unit across the UK. If you are based in a neonatal unit please contact your unit’s Bliss Coordinator or Best Beginnings Small Wonders Champion to locate your pack. If you are unsure of who your Champion is or if you are still struggling to find your pack please contact helen@bestbeginnings.org.uk