SKIN TO SKIN – KANGAROO THERAPY

My first son was born here in Italy about  5 weeks earlier than his due date. He came fast and unexpected and for this reason some water was trapped in his lungs. He  needed instant care, followed by an incubator for  about two and half weeks. This obviously broke my heart, but I knew I needed to go into power-mode and stay  stronger than ever to fight with and for him so he’d get better faster.  The story is long and deep about how the whole thing happened and it has given me much pain and sadness. The fact that that my baby boy was left alone the first two and half weeks of his life is indescribable.This was not what we had planned, alone without his mother for 19 hours a day, as I was only allowed to visit him for 5 hours daily. And I’d lose a further 40 mins. time because I had to pump breast milk during those 5 hours. This made me super angry to say the least. I was not allowed to see my newborn  son when I wanted to. And I now know that this is illegal in many other countries, including my home country of Iceland. A child is to never beseparated from his mother during this important period. The baby needs to feel his/her mother close now more than ever! The mother may sit on a chair next to her baby whenever she wants. In some places she will also be provided with a cot so she never has to leave her newborn’s side. This is a story I will gladly share with you in another post. 

At this time, I would like to tell you about experience with kangaroo therapy. After this tough period when I arrived home, I practiced  this a lot and it’s so special to see how my babies seem to go into another state of relaxation and comfort during these moments.

During my hospital stay there were many very different types of people I encountered.  Some of the hospital staff members were  incredibly kind and supportive and then there were some who seemed to care much care less. To be honest, I think they were just not very nice people  I remember one special woman would always tell me to undress, take my son and let him rest on me for a while with skin to skincontact. She told me that would help his condition improve and I could see the numbers on the machine steadily go up during these intimate moments that we were connected together. I would sing softly to him and pray from the deepest part of my heart that he would get better. The moments were simply magical and I still remember exactly how his skin felt and smelled as if it were yesterday. When we arrived home I continued kangaroo therapy in our daily routine for a long time. We would also take baths together where he would lie on my chest and just drift off to sleep. Also, under the covers after drinking my milk I would let him nap lying on my belly or chest – skin to skin.  Often times he’d get into the fetal position and I realized it was because he felt safe and relaxed.

When my second son was born I was blessed with the delivery of my dreams, which I will gladly share in a later post as well. He rested with me naked – skin to skin for almost 24 hours after the delivery. It seemed to give him the  same feeling of safety.   He’d inhale so deeply and make this wonderful sound every now and then while exhaling. Now he is 1 1/2  and I still do this from time to time,  especially when he is not feeling his best or also when he is in need of  a good cuddle or a hug. I do this and he is relaxed in a matter of seconds.

If you are a mother of a small baby or expecting, I could not recommend this skin to skin kangaroo therapy to you enough, please give it a try if you haven’t already. I know many mothers are doing this which is simply wonderful. A beautiful experience for both mother and her baby. As new mothers we seem to be extremely busy, our time flies and before we know it  it’s midday and we haven’t even brushed our teeth yet! I found this therapy so lovely to make space for even when there is laundry to wash and fold, dishes in the sink and dirty diapers to throw in the trash. This can all wait as you are a 100% allowed to relax with your little new baby  just to cuddle him/her. This time will not come back so enjoy it while you can. Give your self time to adjust into this new life role. You don’t need to be perfect you just need to be real. And in my experience, especially when I reminisce, I do treasure these moments as the most special and I wish I would have done it even more.

If kangaroo therapy is new to you and you’d like to find out more you can read about it here on,  http://www.kangaroomothercare.com/ or browse the internet. There are plenty of useful articles concerning this topic. You may also use a baby wrap – basically wrap your baby on you so it creates the same feeling as if he/she was still inside your belly. Plus, you will have your hands free for doing things around the home and your baby will remain comfortable. It may also help to release colic or gas in babies. I found it useful for my second son who sometimes experienced upset stomachs. A short walk in a baby wrap helped him to release the cramps immediately – he would  fart the whole time, no joke! 🙂

I’d really like to dedicate this post to all the mothers and babies who have been or are in this situation now. In many cases this lasts not weeks, but months. During my hospital stay there was a couple who had their baby there for 6 months already. I know we were lucky and in the end all is well that ends well and for this I am forever grateful.

I send a strong hug and much love to all the mothers out there going through this.

Love JM

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2017-02-10T02:36:58+00:0010/02/17|

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