2017 International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day – Bulgaria

by Nina Nikolova, Bulgaria

“On the 15 of May The first Bulgarian foundation “Our Premature Children” marks the beginning of the International  Kangaroo Care Awareness Day in Bulgaria.
Kangaroo-care is a key element of family-centered care and the most effective way to involve parents in the care of their babies, with the most proven benefits. The World Health Organization recommends kangaroo-care (prolonged skin-to-skin contact) for all babies where it is medically possible.
Kangaroo care has not yet been practice in Bulgaria so far. Our goal is to change this and to bring the care of premature babies and sick newborns close to European Standards and good care recommendations.
We have asked the Bulgarian neonatology wards to become our partner in this initiative by announcing the 15th of May an open day for all parents to the NICU’s. More than 12 UNITS all around the country agreed to open their units for the parents. And enjoy the International kangaroo care awareness day.
In Bulgaria in some units the parents are allow to visit their kids few time per week and only for a few minutes. Very often the parents and the babies are separated for a long period of time, some stay in the hospital.”





2017 International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia had a wonderful celebration for the 6th International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day on May 15th 2017

by Buenafe Cala

‘I’m sending you our post activity in Care National Hospital ,Riyadh Saudi Arabia 1 out of 30  tertiary hospital that we are going to introduce and implement of Kangaroo Care from Ministry of Health Saudi Arabia where we cater 65% population of Saudi Arabia.
May you kindly see the attached file with our post activity with 6th International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day in CARE National Hospital ,Riyadh Saudi Arabia .Out of 30 hospital we are going to continue awareness all year round to introduce and implement kangaroo care in the unit and community as our commitment to support the newborns and family in Saudi Arabia all year round.
The activity as follows :
1. Invitation and awareness has been disseminated to all department in the hospital.
2.Preparation and commitments of all NICU staff in success of the kangaroo care awareness day.
3. A 1 hour and half International Kangaroo  Care awareness day  program headed by the Neonatal Head of Ministry of health Kingdom of Saudi Arabia start with ribbon cutting ceremony, introduction of Kangaroo Care and its benefits ,welcoming the parents and staff ,video presentation , sharing of parents with their experience in kangaroo care ,appreciation to parents and staff ,gift giving and tokens to the family and staff.
4. Simple snacks and sweet prepared during the awareness.
5.Registration and commitments of staff  documented .
To share with International kangaroo organizer – The testimony of the mother that she doesn’t want to wash her hand right after doing kangaroo care to her baby where she wanted to bring the scent  of her baby when she will back home and remind her that she need go back again to the hospital and meet her lil one.It was a lesson to every one during the awareness from a parents testimony.
This simple activity brings the family and staff with joy in their hearts where they  feel treasured and important in joining the 6th International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day .Looking forward the continuous support for the all newborns and family and link internationally.
Thank you very much ,more photos and update with our continuous awareness to 30 hospital all year round.
Best Regards,
Buenafe Cala
NIDCAP Professional
MOH Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”



2017 International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day – London, UK

International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day

May 15th 2017

Today we celebrated Kangaroo Care Awareness Day on Starlight Neonatal Unit, Barnet Hospital, Royal Free NHS Trust.

We are a 30 bed, level 2 unit, in London, UK.  We are proud of the family centred, neurprotective care that we provide to the babies and families that we serve.

Today we celebrated Kangaroo Care Awareness Day by baking biscuits, handing out articles on the benefits of Kangaroo Care and practicing safe kangaroo care transfers.  But perhaps the best moment was when our matron surprised us all by dressing up as a kangaroo and came quietly bounding on to our unit.

Tonight we will run our monthly supper club, where we are cooking for all the families, offering massages to the parents from our excellent massage volunteer and providing information on the wonders of kangaroo care, in a short presentation and demonstration.

Happy Kangaroo Care Day 2017

Emily Hills

Neonatal Occupational Therapist



Pledge, Map, and Global Celebrations for the 7th International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day – May 15th

7th International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day

May 15th, 2018

Kangaroo Care impacts the world of professionals, newborns, and families.

Take the pledge – Celebrate, Engage, and/or Share Kangaroo Care! The results are below. Let’s cover the world!

Whether you are a parent, a healthcare professional, or you simply support the practice of babies being held skin-to-skin by their parents, let’s take the pledge to support Kangaroo Care!  Be Counted!

Kangaroo Care Day brings together the international community to:

  • Celebrate the accomplishments of researchers, staff, and families that advance the practice and have some fun!  More
  • Engage professionals and parents in learning activities and practicing kangaroo care. More
  • Share the amazing stories of people touched by kangaroo care every day.  Download logs and logos for Kangaroo Care. More

Be part of the movement that celebrates this amazing practice and helps grow our next generation of babies.

Post on social media now in FacebookTwitter, Instagram and tag @Nurturedbdesign @KangarooCareDay #kangaroocareday  #kangaroocare below!

Take the Pledge for Kangaroo Care

Here are the places that celebrate Kangaroo Care from those that took the Pledge!  Let’s Pledge and cover the world!

Country State/Province (US/Canada) City Company Name Pledge
de Munich EFCNI Raising awareness on Social Media and on our Website www.efcni.org

Fundraising for kangaroo-chairs for a hospital in Greece

fi Helsinki Helsinki Metropolia UAS I promise to continue working in daily basis  to educate, promote and increase awareness of KMC locally, nationally and globally from grassroots to policy makers.

To who can I talk about KMC = all and everyone

Where can I talk about KMC =  everywhere

When can I talk about KMC = always (promote in all possible situations and raise awareness)

gb Barnsley Barnsley Neonatal Unit We have a message board which we are decorating for kangaroo care day for parents and staff to share their thoughts and feelings about kangaroo care and how we support kangaroo care.

We are planning on asking both current parents and families previously nursed on the neonatal unit to share their stories, pictures and experiences on our ward facebook page.

We have put up new kanagroo care boards to provide new information.

gb Romford Barking,Havering & Redbridge University NHS Trust I am the Infant Feeding & Developmental care Lead on the Neonatal Unit, Level 2
nz 7 Lurline Ave Epsom Ms
nz auckland Auckland district Health Board Asking all Mums and dads in our neonatal unit to hold their babies skin to skin as much and for as long as possible.

Posts will be put on the neonatal trusts facebook page.

nz Wellington Wholehearted Ltd
qa Doha Hamad Medical Corporation To show support for Kangaroo Care I will involve myself in the activities of our hospital to promote kangaroo care among mothers and babies, I will deliberately advocate campaigns about KMC and its improtance and teach others how to do it properly and effectively. I will be also active in social media to raise awareness for kangaroo care.
qa DOHA HMC “Also mother of 2 preterm babies ,

who loved to do kangaroo care daily”

Awareness program

workshops for health care professions

parent experience lectures to parents of preterm babies

competitions for staff inthe hospital regarding kangaroo care and benefits

sa Riyadh King Fahad Medical City A month long  KC promotion starting 15 April 2017.

KC Video demonstration in the antenatal clinic and giving of KC brochure.

A KC banner will be posted in the NICU

Electronic announcement of the KC day.

Continues encouraging the parents do Kangaroo care and  give some token of appreciation to parents who spent the longest KC hours.
On 15 May 2017 will be our KC awareness big day.

There will be booth from the following disciplines:Medical,Nursing,Respiratory Therapist, Parent Support Group, Lactation/Breastfeeding Team and

Social Workers.

There will be a program where the CEO,Medical and Nursing leaders and Patient Experience Department lead will be invited.

In the said program, 3 parents  chosen to speak about KC experience.
Place:King Fahad Medical City
Riyadh,Saudi Arabia

tw Taichung Taichung Veterans General Hospital I will put the logo in my Facebook
I will spread the information through lecture in hospital and post in Facebook
I will give this information to Taiwan Premature Baby Foundation
We encourage and support parents in our NICU for Kangaroo care.
tw Tainan National Cheng Kung University Hospital We do kangaroo care in our NICU and Level II baby ward. kangaroo care is routine in our hospital.
UK Leicester Leicester Royal Infirmary Neonatal Unit
UK Aberdeen NHS Grampian Publicity/information for parents and staff withing the NNU
All staff to support the aim for all babies, as far as possible, within the unit to experience Kangaroo care on the 15th May
Tweet about the day raising social media awareness
Identify Kangaroo Care champions to continue to support and improve kangaroo care within our unit
us AZ Cave Creek Scottsdale Phoenix First Food For Baby I LOVE teaching new mothers about KMC!!  This is an ongoing free service I provide to interested parents and all of my families with babies that get medical procedures to help support the Autonomic Nervous System.  KMC information is provided for every family I come in contact with – always.
us AZ Scottsdale Honor Health Scottsdale Shea Promote Kangaroo care in our NICU to increase awareness and benefits.
us CA Los Angeles Parent Facebook post.
Discuss with friends and family.
Celebrate with my 5-year-old daughter and husband.
us CA loma linda loma linda childrens hosp
us FL daytona beach Halifax Health Promoting KMC in our small level II NICU by starting an initiative on May 1st to see how many parents can Kangaroo their babies for as long as possible. After two weeks we will see how well we have done…..then re-educate to become even better!
us FL Daytona Beach fl Halifax health
us FL Orlando Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies
us IA Des Moines Blank Children’s Hospital We will celebrating Kangaroo Care with a week long event May 11-18, 2017 with daily prizes.
Families that hold their baby at least 1 hour skin to skin may enter a raffle ticket for the drawings.  Nurses will sign the raffle tickets, making them also eligible for prizes specific to nursing.  This will be our 3rd Annual Kangaroo-a-thon!
us IA Grinnell UnityPoint Health Des Moines I’m a mom of a 26 weeker! He is now 7 months old (4 months adjusted) and doing amazing.Born at 2lbs 1.5oz now 15.5 lbs! We left the hospital exclusively breastfeeding and still going strong! I roomed in with him during his 88 day NICU start at life and held him skin to skin often. I’ll treasure those moments forever. I want to empower other mamas (and dads) to benefit baby and themselves by doing so too. I also work at a midwife office and will spread word to our patients on May 15th!
On May 15th I plan to:Hold my preemie skin to skin!Post a Facebook status to raise awareness and photos of my husband and I kangarooing our son in the NICU!Set up a display table with educational information at my workplace (which is an OB office) for patients to view!Donate to the local Kangaroo-a-thon event for current NICU families where parents who kangaroo have a chance to win raffle prizes!
us IL Park Ridge Advocate Children’s Hospital WE are having a kangaroo-a-thon in the NICU at Advocate Children’s Hospital, Park Ridge, IL.
us IN Fort Wayne Lutheran health network Over many years, we have continued to expand how we celebrate kangaroo care day.  We often provide snacks like granola bars and water for the Mother usually wrapped in a soft kangaroo themed blanket.  We have had kangaroo cookies and/or suckers.  We have had all three of our hospitals in Fort Wayne doing kangaroo at the same time and trying to increase the number of families providing it.  We have had and will have again the marquee(signage) by the highway promoting kangaroo care day and providing the benefits.   And television reports of the positive benefits of kangaroo care day.  Looking forward to another great year!
Thanks for all you do in your hospitals to continue to promote it!
us IN Munster The Community Hospital Encourage parent and staff participation throughout the month of May with a big whoopla on the 15th.
Will also check you out on FB.
us LA New Llano Mother of former 27 weeker Even though my preemie is going to be turning 3 next month he still loves his kangaroo care.
us MD Chevy Chase Save the Children Continue to advocate and support countries to implement Kangaroo Care
us NC Raleigh preemie parent By sharing photos of kangaroo care with my micro-preemie daughter.
us NC Winston-Salem Wake Forest Baptist NICU looking forward to it
us NV Reno Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center I will be dressed in a Kangaroo costume at the hospital that day. I will be going around from room to room on the maternal floor and talking with parents about Kangaroo Care.  I will be taking pictures and giving away gift bags on that day. Lots of fun activities for Kangaroo-a-thon, which will run May 1st through May 15th.
us NY Rochester Golisano Children’s Hospital I will be placing a poster about Kangaroo Care: benefits, and encourage mom’s and dad’s to share what it means to them to “Kangaroo” their infant.

I will also be making “Kangaroo Cutout cookies to pass out to our mom’s and dad’s as a treat.  Sending out in a newsletter to each family about May 15th, and asking them to place how many minutes on your Kangaroo Logo they did on the poster.

us OH Cleveland I am having a message sent to all CKCs to celebrate the day.  Susie Ludington
us OH Columbus Ohio Health Educate all new nurses and physicians who join our maternity staff teams.
us OH Toledo Mercy Children’s Hospital Kangaroo a thon in our NICU
us PA Lancaster Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine Women and Babies Hospital Our NICU is a long time supporter of skin to skin care for our NICU babies and well babies (First Baby Friendly Hospital in PA)  Our NICU will be celebrating our third International Kangaroo Care Day withour hospital picture service taking free photos of parents doing skin to skin care, a Kangaroo theme quilt made by a volunteer raffle, Kangaroo shaped cookies, fruit and juice in parent lounge, bulletin board and nurse raffle for encouraging KC.
us PA Media Riddle Hospital/Main Line Health
us PA Philadelphia The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia We are giving away gifts for families and staff that participate in kangaroo care.

~ Making chocolate treats for staff

~fundraising and trying to bring awareness to unit

us TN Memphis Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women
us TX Austin Hand to Hold Hand to Hold is actively promoting Kangaroo Care Awareness Day (and all the time!) with informative articles and encouragement.
us TX El Paso Del Sol Medical Center We are planning on displaying it throughout the hospital. We are also providing photos to the parents of them providing kangaroo care along with cake and punch to celebrate the day.

We plan on sharing it on our hospital’s Facebook page and also on our internal newsletter.

us TX Houston, NICE “ PREMATURITY WATCH-Circle of Care
us TX Sugar Land Nurtured by Design Volunteer to help hospitals celebrate the day around the world.
us VA Leesburg Inova Loudoun Hospital
us WI Milwaukee march of dimes Yes we host an annual kangaroo a thon that kicks off May 15- runs though the end of May at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin NICU, education, support & learning about Kangaroo care for staff and well as parents, others the importance for mom/dad/& baby(s). This will be our 5th annual.
us WI Shawano Aurora Baycare Medical Center I will continue to encourage the families I work with to do kangaroo care and teach how important it is.



Pledge #3: SHARE! Share a session, a local kangaroo care project, any effort, research, celebration.

Examples of amazing kangaroo care science and its benefits and ways people are working to improve are everywhere. Share these with the world!

Are you making a poster, cards, making cookies, having a contest, doing research, holding your baby, helping others do kangaroo care, or wearing a Kangaroo Costume to celebrate the 6th Kangaroo Care Awareness Day on May 15th?  Share it below or send to info@kangaroo.care and we will make a post in this website about it.

LOGOS AND LOGS:   Follow this link and find:

  • The logo of the International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day, in different sizes, that you are encouraged to use for free without modifying it
  • The Logs that help you keep track of the kangaroo care sessions – they are for the parents and staff, in English and Spanish

Whether it is a project you are working on or one you’ve always admired, join the pledge and share it, then post on social media on or before May 15th, 2017 in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and tag @Nurturedbdesign #kangaroocareday  #kangaroocare and below!

Sign the pledge now and tell us how you are celebrating!

questions? need help? contact info@kangaroo.care

Saudi Arabia announcement 2016
























Pledge #1: CELEBRATE! Celebrate Kangaroo Care

Take a moment to honor, celebrate, and raise awareness about how kangaroo care makes the world a nurturing place for our babies.

Event Ideas

There are many ways to celebrate kangaroo care. It all starts with you and what makes sense in your community or workplace. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Sign the pledge

Join the nurturing movement and sign the pledge (tinyurl.com/PledgeKC2017) to help raise awareness of kangaroo care. We will update the map as we receive pledges to see who is celebrating Kangaroo Care Awareness Day on May 15th. Invite others to sign it too and let’s fill the map!

2. Gather colleagues together for coffee or tea

Take 10 minutes to discuss all of the ways kangaroo care has improved the care of a baby, how it made a better workplace or improved someone’s quality of life. Reflecting on our accomplishments in kangaroo care is a great way to remind yourself why we celebrate it.

3. Organize a coffee break, breakfast, lunch, or dinner

Celebrate the achievements of your colleagues and families in kangaroo care during breakfast, cookie break, lunch or dinner on May 15th, the 6th International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day.

Make cookies in shapes of kangaroos or the letter “K”, have tent-cards with facts about kangaroo care, give stickers to parents and staff that support kangaroo care, etc.  Take pictures/videos and share in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and tag @Nurturedbdesign #kangaroocareday  #kangaroocare and leave comments below this post!

4. Secure a public proclamation

Provide information about the Kangaroo Care efforts to your local public official, and ask that official (mayor, governor, other) for a resolution recognizing May 15th as a day that celebrates the contributions made by kangaroo care.

5. Share kangaroo care with others

Do you know someone working on an interesting or exciting project about kangaroo care?   Contact your local news stations and ask them to do a segment about your efforts in providing better care for babies and parents.

Can you share a anecdote, lesson learned, tips, suggestions?  Share them in you pledge , your community and in the comments below.

6. Keep track

It is important to know how many hours a baby is kangarooed a day (“no less than one hour and no more than 24 hours a day”.) Here are logs that you can use to help you, if you want any modification let us know at kangaroo@nurturedbydesign.com, we will make it at no cost.

7. Create a public display

An exhibit at a lobby wall, library, museum or other public place is an engaging way to celebrate. Pick one or two local kangaroo families and showcase them through colorful pictures and short descriptions, or make a wall/window of kangaroo photos.

Here are pages with logos that you can print without modifying them.  Here are some ideas:

  • Print them in different color paper (one color for moms, one for dads, one for nurses, one for therapists, etc.) and give one to parents and staff for each hour of kangaroo that they do and write their name,  tape them on a designated wall, a window, or simply around the baby’s bed, etc.  You will see the space fill up with everyone’s effort.

If you don’t see the size you want for the logos, let us know and we will make it for you.

8. Recognize an individual

Does your organization host an awards program?  Nominate a colleague, volunteer, or family who is doing good work in Kangaroo Care

9.  Here are other ideas on how to celebrate Kangaroo Care (KC)

  • Invite everyone to sign the pledge for the awareness of Kangaroo Care: http://tinyurl.com/PledgeKC2017
  • Kick-off celebration
  • Public announcement
  • Teach at bedside and teach staff
  • Kangaroo or K cookies
  • Letter for media and public
  • Encourage and educate about the benefits of Kangaroo Care and breastfeeding
  • Signs or cards on tables/bed with facts or tips of KC
  • Facebook photo sharing at www.facebook.com/kangaroomothercare
  • Social Media: #kangaroocare #kangaroocareday @nurturedbdesign
  • Pamphlets
  • Countdown poster to May 15
  • Goodie basket to pick after KC
  • Make one scrapbook page with photos of KC
  • Posters with photos/facts
  • Provide frames for photos in KC
  • Quiz about Kangaroo Care and prize for all right answers
  • Provide water and energy bar to parents during the KC session
  • Staff wears a “ask me about kangaroo care” sticker on the name badge
  • Have KC related questions for parents/staff and give incentive if they give the correct answer
  • Organic Soaps to prepare the skin for Kangaroo Care
  • Contest of the longest duration/frequency in Kangaroo Care
  • Give stickers or chocolates to everyone entering the Unit that day
  • Talk about the safety risks of Kangaroo Care and the ways to mitigate the risks
  • Provide soaps for parents to use to prepare their skin for kangaroo care
  • Staff wears Kangaroo Costumes
  • Volunteers make kangaroo care tags for parents to wear
  • Buttons of the Kangaroo Care logo or hospital logo
  • Find ideas and inexpensive products/prizes/incentives in the Kangaroo Care Marketplace

However you decide to celebrate, make sure to share in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and tag @Nurturedbdesign #kangaroocareday  #kangaroocare and below!

Help us show where is Kangaroo Care being celebrated by signing the pledge showing your support for Kangaroo Care!

questions?  kangaroo@nurturedbydesign.com

















10 Point Checklist for Baby’s Safe Positioning During Kangaroo Care

Kangaroo Position (World Health Organization)
Kangaroo Position (World Health Organization)

Positioning during Kangaroo Care is just as important as positioning on the bed.  Here is our 10 Point Checklist for Baby’s Safe Positioning During Kangaroo Care

  1. Baby is between the parent’s bare breasts, and wearing only diaper (no higher than the belly button). Socks may be worn if the room is too cold. A hat is a must for babies weighing less than 1000 grams.
  2. Baby is strictly vertical and skin-to-skin/chest-to-chest with the parent.
  3. Baby’s head and spine are mid-aligned for proper breathing and comfort.
  4. Legs are flexed and in frog position.
  5. Feet are flexed and toes facing outward.
  6. Arms are flexed to each side and hands are up and by the head
  7. Cover the baby’s back up to the bottom of the baby’s earlobe
  8. Head is in midline and in lateral position and face, nose and mouth are uncovered, unobstructed, and in constant view.
  9. Parent lowers the head and kisses the top of her baby’s head.
  10. Parent is sitting up or reclined (never horizontal, or prone).

  11. Both parent and baby are being watched/ monitored during kangaroo care.
Resting in KC (World Health Organization)
Resting in KC (World Health Organization)

Benefits of Kangaroo Care

Benefits for the parents include:

  • Enhanced attachment and bonding (Tessier et al., 1998).
  • Resilience and feelings of confidence, competence, and satisfaction regarding baby care (Tessier et al., 1998; Conde Agudelo, Diaz Rossello, & Belizan, 2003; Kirsten, Bergman, & Hann, 2001).
  • Increased milk volume, doubled rates of successful breastfeeding and increased duration of breastfeeding (Mohrbacher & Stock, 2003).
  • Profoundly beneficial for adoptive parents with critically ill preterm infants (Parker L, Anderson GC. , 2002).

Benefits for the babies include:

  • Kangaroo Care reduces neonatal mortality (Conde-Agudelo et al, 2011).
  • Lessens incidence and severity of infection (Charpak N, Ruiz-Pelaez JG, Figuero de Calume Z, Charpak Y., 1997).
  • Accelerated autonomic and neurobehavioral development (Feldman R, Eidelman, 2003).
  • Promotes self-regulation in premature infants: sleep wake cyclicity, arousal modulation, and sustained exploration (Feldman R, Weller A, Sirota L, Eidelman A., 2002).
  • Consistently high and stable oxygen saturation levels, lower airway resistance, fewer apnea episodes, and an increased percentage of quiet sleep (Ludington- Hoe, Ferreira, & Goldstein, 1998).
  • Stable temperature within normal thermal zone, heart rate, and respiratory rate (Ludington-Hoe et al., 2010).
  • Reduced crying associated with painful procedures (Kostandy R, Ludington-Hoe SM, 2008).
  • Breast milk is readily available and accessible, and strengthens the infant’s immune system.
  • The maternal contact causes a calming effect with decreased stress and rapid quiescence (McCain, Ludington-Hoe, Swinth, & Hadeed, 2005; Charpak et el., 2005).
  • Reduced physiological and behavioral pain responses (Ludington-Hoe, Hosseini, & Torowicz, 2005).
  • Increased weight gain (Charpak, Ruiz-Pelaez, & Figueroa, 2005).
  • Enhanced attachment and bonding (Tessier et al., 1998).
  • Positive effects on infant’s cognitive development (Feldman, Eidelman, Sirota, & Weller, 2002).
  • Less nosocomial infection, severe illness, or lower respiratory tract disease (Conde-Argudelo, et. al., 2003).
  • Restful sleep (Ludington-Hoe et al., 2006).
  • Earlier hospital discharge (London et al., 2006).
  • Reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (see www.infactcanada.ca).
  • Normalized infant growth of premature infants (Charpak, Ruiz-Pelaez, & Figueroa, 2005).
  • Good intervention for colic (Ellett, Bleah, & Parris, 2002).
  • Possible positive effects in motor development of infants (Penalva & Schwartzman, 2006).
  • The critical stimuli to which the baby is exposed during KC are:
    Vestibular: the chest movement of the breathing of the parent and walking (if allowed)
    Tactile: the skin and natural warmth of the parent on the bottom (chest), on the sides (breast of mother), and the back (Kangaroo Zak™)
    Olfactory: the scent of the parent and the maternal breast milk.
    Auditory: by the voices and heartbeat of the parent.

Audiology and Speech-Language Therapy student training in a KMC unit

“The final-year students from the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University Pretoria, South Africa, are involved in the KMC unit of Kalafong Hospital. This year, there are 61 students (33 Audiology and 28 Speech-Language Therapy) participating in rotating groups. The KMC unit was started in 1999 and serves mothers of prematurely born infants from the surrounding urban, semi-urban, and township areas. Over 60% of premature births globally occur in Africa and South Asia. Extra care for small babies, including KMC, could save an estimated 450,000 babies each year (WHO, 2012).

The students provide feeding therapy to the preterm infants in the ward and highlight developmentally appropriate stimulation. The mothers in the ward also receive a weekly talk by the students on a pertinent topic such as feeding difficulties, communication and hearing milestones and otitis media.

At the follow-up clinic, the students conduct early communication, feeding and hearing screenings. The students train the mothers to encourage communication and listening development using books, toys and stimulation techniques. Mothers are given hand-outs that they may refer back to at a later stage. Therefore, information is generally given for the range of birth to approximately two years of age. As South Africa has 11 official languages; home language is prioritized and hand-outs are given in the more common languages of English, isiZulu and Sepedi when possible.

Many South Africans struggle with poverty and nearly two thirds (58%) of children in South Africa live below the poverty line (R604/month or approximately $42/month) (Child Gauge, 2013). Great effort is taken to show mothers how they may use resources already in their homes to provide stimulation. Mothers are shown how to make books and toys for language stimulation and how to adapt these as the child grows. Language stimulation is also focused on as premature infants are at risk for developing communication difficulties which may affect later academic ability. Early communication intervention not only treats existing difficulties but also educates mothers on stimulation from a young age in order to prevent or reduce difficulties.

During the practicals, the supervisor oversees the students, monitors interactions with the mothers and supports the students in the more difficult-to- treat cases. Working in the ward teaches the students how to interact with the team including nurses, doctors, dietitians and occupational therapists. In 2012 a database was started in order to track the families the students have treated. As of the end of 2015; approximately 1500 mothers and babies have been seen by the Audiology and Speech-Language Therapy students from the University of Pretoria. The benefits of the practical were demonstrated when a mother approached the students and supervisor on the day of her discharge home with her baby. She had collected all the hand-outs from her 8 week stay. She informed us that she was going to copy the hand-outs and give them to her friends, family, mothers and the preschools near her. This moment demonstrated the ability to touch many families with one mother.

On completion of the module, the students receive a practical mark and write a reflection report evaluating their ability to apply their theoretical knowledge in a clinical setting. This module provides experience as the students enter hospitals and clinics the following year for their compulsory community service year. The students remark that they develop skills for interacting with mothers as equal team members and for providing early communication intervention for preterm infants. Many students have gone on to the either start KMC units at their community service hospitals or to encourage a greater focus on early intervention.”

~As told by Professor Alta Kritzinger and Ms. Renata Mosca

Professor Kritzinger and Ms. Mosca form part of the early intervention team at the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, training students in the assessment and treatment of early communication disorders in the Clinic for High-Risk Babies (CHRIB) using a family based approach. Both are Hanen-certified therapists and are involved in encouraging Early Intervention in a variety of South African contexts and communities.


We want YOU to share your nurturing stories!

Let us feature you! Send us your story so we can feature it either in our newsletter, blog, or website.
We are also looking for regular authors. Please send us an email at social@nurturedbydesign.com if you are interested.
Topics could include:
  • anything about Kangaroo Care, such as your stories or opinions
  • a loving moment that you want to share
  • goals or lessons that you learned
  • something that helped you nurtured the baby or a tip to share with others
  • activities, prizes, and incentives that work for Kangaroo Care awareness celebrations
  • suggestions for clinicians and/or parents
  • your favorite research result or your favorite activity to raise awareness
  • volunteer for a 5-10 min podcast or Skype interview with Dr. Jackson (on any topic of your choice)
  • volunteer to teach a class about Kangaroo Care to professionals or parents
  • share with us what Kangaroo Care means to you and your family
What format and how long?

Here are some guidelines:

  • Written content: less than 500 words
  • Home made Video: less than 2 minutes (please say your name, position/parent, and hospital at the beginning – here is an example)
  • Audio/Video interview with Dr. Jackson (we will send instructions): 5-10 minutes
  • Training Class (we will send instructions): 30 min

Send us an email as soon as possible and we will follow up with you.

We’d need these if you choose to submit:  
  • a short bio or something about you (with a photo if possible)
  • the suggested title
  • your story
  • suggested audience (NICU, PICU, Parents, etc.)

or simply comment below! We can always learn so much from each other…