COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - From brain development to parental bonding, Kangaroo Care, or skin to skin contact between a new born and its parent is helping babies in the Valley grow strong and healthy.
Brittany Jones gave birth just days ago to a baby boy needing some help from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
"There's so little as a parent that you feel like you can do for a newborn in this situation. You need your doctors you need your nurses. There are so many things that are really outside of your control completely but to be able to hold him, to have that security, to know that he is well and that I am with him is really important for me," said Jones.
Jones and other mothers at the Midtown Medical are turning to Kangaroo Care to help their newborns make it through an early-life bump in the road.
"Research shows it has many, many benefits. It helps stabilize their heart rate, their blood sugar, their temperature, it helps with brain development, growth, oxygen consumption, I mean the list goes on," said RNC Kayla Andrews at Midtown's NICU.
In what's being called a Kangaroo-athon, the hospital is joining others across the globe in logging hours of this kind of care for a two week period, bringing awareness to the practice's physical and emotional benefits.
"It also helps the families, it helps the mother with her breast milk production, it helps them have a sense of confidence, and helps their bonding," said Andrews.
Their goal of 100 hours kicked off on Monday, and so far it's looking like they will far surpass it, all thanks to mothers and fathers who are using the technique and its healing properties.
"The wonderful experience of having him with me, in the room, to feel that security, to know he was okay, to see him respond really well to that," said Jones.
The Kangaroo-athon was made possible by the following companies, along with Midtown Medical Center's NICU's staff and patients:
- Hat donations from "Knit Witz" of LaGrange, GA
- Kangaroo Care cake from the Columbus Corner Bakery
- Hat donations from Mrs. Carol Chaddock
- Kangaroo tally board from "2 Punks and a Princess"
- Kangaroo cloths and parent support from the NICU Parent Advisory Group
- Scent clothes from the Sewing for Babies ministry at the Wynnbrook Baptist Church
- Kangaroo outfit from Neonatalogy and Associates