The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Regional Medical Center at Memphis and the March of Dimes partnered together to host a 15-day “Kangaroo Care-a-thon” to raise awareness among both families and employees about the benefits of “Kangaroo Care." “Kangaroo Care” is the skin-to-skin contact between a parent and their child for an extended period of time and provides tremendous benefits for both the parent and the child, such as increased parent/child bonding and improved outcomes. In the NICU environment where babies are born needing attachment to various types of equipment, monitors and other technology for their survival, it is important to remember that parent/baby attachment and bonding is equally if not more important than in other birth cases.
The Kangaroo-a-thon began on May 15, the 1st International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day, and continued through May 30 with the goal of enlisting at least 15 families in Kangaroo Care during that time. Each time a family “kangarooed” for the first time, the nurse provided the family with a “Kangaroo Care Kit” courtesy of March of Dimes volunteers, and both the parent and nurse were entered into respective drawings to win a special gift basket at the end of the Care-a-thon.
Congratulations to all for championing “Kangaroo Care” and the benefits of skin-to-skin care for babies and families!
Pictured at right: Karen Hill, March of Dimes NICU Family Support Specialist and NICU nurse Megan Pentecost.