There’s a tender moment every parent-to-be eagerly looks forward to holding their baby for the first time. Angela and Michael Bakker had to wait an agonizing two weeks before they were able to hold their daughter. Naomi was born very premature and it was only the hospital’s belief in “kangaroo care” that made it possible for them to cradle her in their arms that soon.
Angela was only 25 weeks into her pregnancy when she went into labor. Little Naomi only weighed 12 ounces when she was born and had only a 50-50 chance of survival. Although they were hoping everything would be okay, Angela and Michael had to brace themselves for the worst. Fortunately, the team at the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit were able to get Naomi through the most dangerous days and she started showing signs of improvement.
Although Naomi was doing well, she was still in no condition to be held by her parents. The best they could do was to gently touch her and let her touch them with her tiny hands, no bigger than an adult’s fingertip. Two weeks after she was born, that would change. The hospital practices “kangaroo care,” believing that skin contact between a newborn and his or her parents actually has important benefits. Among them: improved temperature regulation, more normal heartbeat and breathing rates, boosting the immune system, lower stress, and better motor and cognitive development.
In the video posted below, you’ll see the moment when Angela was finally able to have real contact with her little fighter of a daughter. Eight NICU staff were needed to carefully transfer Naomi from her incubator to her mom’s chest. While she would still be spending another four months in the NICU, Naomi was able to enjoy the benefits of receiving kangaroo care from both her parents.
What’s your take on kangaroo care? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below the video. Be sure to like and share, too!