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.”

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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

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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)

Checklist for KC Professionals and Parents

Checklist for the medical staff in NICU:

-Explain to the adult the benefits of the Kangaroo Care Method for preemies and for parents.

-Explain the proper Kangaroo Position.

-Plan all  placements of medical devices on the baby/bed so that they are easy to handle during transfer.

-Confirm the eligibility of the baby and the parent and the contraindications.

-Make sure that the adult wears the Kangaroo Zak without anything underneath (bra, etc.) and with the zippers to the side, away from the baby.  Over it s/he may wear clothing that easily opens in    the front or a hospital gown.

-Have blankets available if needed.

-Confirm that the adult goes through the checklist below.

-Decide with the adult if you will do sitting or standing transfer considering the medical condition of the baby and of the adult.

 

Checklist for the adult/parent:

-Remove jewelry that might come in contact with your baby.

-Refrain from using powder, lotion or perfume on your chest before doing skin to skin care. Your baby needs to feel your natural scent.

-Wear the Kangaroo Zak without anything underneath (bra, etc.) and with the zippers to the side.  Over it you may wear clothing that easily opens in the front or a hospital gown.

-Take care of your own personal needs (pumping, food, fluids, and bathroom).

-Notify your loved ones that you will be out of touch for a several hours (unless you plan to use your phone)

-Bring a camera and ask the medical staff to take pictures and/or movies.  After all, it is an important time for you and  your baby.

-If you have something to do,  you will kangaroo longer, so plan accordingly: you are encouraged to use a hand-held mirror to look at your baby, or you can sleep, rest, work, craft or scrapbook, write a journal, watch a movie (don’t forget your headphones), or chat with  friends because you will have your hands free and the Kangaroo Zak keeps the baby safe and contained.  Ask other parents and the medical staff for other ideas and what is accepted at your hospital.

-This is also a great time to read the manuals, books, and other resources provided by the medical or nursing staff.