Kangaroo Care & Babywearing Benefits

Medical studies find that Kangaroo Care (KC) / Skin to Skin (S2S) Therapy:  

  1. improves heart rate - babies and caregivers in KC develop a steady, relaxed heart rate
  2. improves respiratory rate - babies and caregivers in KC develop a steady, relaxed respiratory rate
  3. improves oxygen saturation - babies in KC experience a rise in oxygen saturation levels
  4. improves temperature regulation - babies in KC with their birth mother will reach and remain at 98.6*F; babies in KC with other caregivers will stay warmer than in a warming bed
  5. lowers infections - babies in KC exist in a less distressed state and gain healthy microorganisms from their caregiver’s skin
  6. prevents apnea - babies in KC experience few episodes of sleep apnea
  7. improves sleep - babies in KC experience a 70% rise in deep sleep waves within their brains; after 2 weeks of experiencing this rise, babies experience it OUT of KC too
  8. lowers crying (especially when done by fathers) - babies in KC cry at least 50% less and stop crying faster when doing KC with father
  9. provides analgesic (pain relief) effect - babies in KC recover faster from (often not reacting to) heel pricks and other painful interventions
  10. increases milk production - mothers in KC experience an increase in milk production
  11. increases the ability to breastfeed exclusively - babies and mothers in KC are more likely to accomplish exclusive breastfeeding
  12. allows for earlier breastfeeding initiation - babies in KC (especially at birth) initiate earlier breastfeeding
  13. increases general neurobehavioral development - babies who have been in KC test higher on neurobehavioral tests throughout their childhoods
  14. increases mental and motor scores - babies who have been in KC test higher on mental and motor score tests throughout their childhoods
  15. increases brain maturation - babies who have been in KC show higher than average age brain maturation
  16. lowers caregiver’s anxiety (especially the postpartum mother) - caregiver who have been in KC have lower anxiety
  17. increases the caregiver’s parental/relational satisfaction - caregivers who have been in KC feel like they are successful caregivers
  18. creates better caregiver/baby attachments  - babies and caregivers who have been in KC experience stronger attachment/bonding [ this works caregiver to caregiver too ;) 

Medical studies suggest KC/S2S to:

  1. prevent oxygen desaturations - babies in KC usually experience no oxygen desaturations
  2. lower apnea episodes - babies in KC who are prone to apnea usually experience fewer apnea episodes outside of KC too
  3. regulate cortisol (the stress hormone) especially with fathers - babies and caregivers in KC usually experience a lowering of cortisol
  4. create a more positive interaction between caregiver and infant - babies and caregivers who have been in KC usually interact in a more positive manner

Medical studies warrant consideration of KC/S2S to 

  1. improve weight gain - babies in KC often show an improved weight gain; more studies forthcoming

Babywearing medical research shows that

  1. using a baby carrier for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours  
  2. the physical drain from carrying in-arms is 16% greater than using a tool (i.e. a baby carrier) to support the baby’s mass, which is potentially an even larger burden than breastfeeding  
  3. holding babies close in a baby carrier allows us to form a mutual attachment, and is especially beneficial for mothers who are at risk for or suffering from postpartum depression/anxiety
  4. Those who sniff babies’ heads experience a rise in brain oxytocin levels (the feel good and relaxed hormone), carrying babies in a baby carrier helps us to experience feeling well and relaxed regularly 

For an informative overview of kangaroo care, see this powerpoint by Dr. Susan Ludington, the director of the U.S. Institute of Kangaroo Care (USIKC is where I studied to become a Certified Kangaroo Caregiver):


Please contact me with questions by email rachelgaston@hotmail.com or social media @mommyindemand

You can access a printer friendly version of this info here: http://go2l.ink/KCbenefits