Cardboard box not as good as a kangaroo pouch. Photo by Godfrey Sigwela
It looks like a kangaroo technique could teach how to take care of newborn babies at the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital maternity ward… writes Godfrey Sigwela.
Recently, nurses in the maternity ward at Mahikeng Hospital allegedly placed newborn babies in cardboard boxes.
In contrast to that, at Netcare Linkwood Hospital newborn babies enjoy life through a kangaroo parental care technique.
Verena Bolton, a neonatal nurse and national coordinator of Netcare Ncelisa human milk, says their newborn babies’ care approach is derived from kangaroos.
They have adopted the kangaroo’s baby care technique in which the Australian marsupial places its baby (joey) in a pouch close to the mother’s chest.
As a result, at Netcare Hospital in South Africa all mothers with newborn babies are taught to adopt the kangaroo’s art of baby care (as is common in Australian hospitals).
There are many human baby health benefits from kangaroo baby care… instead of depriving a newborn baby and placing them inside cardboard boxes!
Bolton says skin to skin care is actively encouraged in their maternity and neonatal units. It is also important in appropriate circumstances, in particular for premature or low birthweight babies.
Bolton indicated that they apply the kangaroo care in support of the World Health Organisation’s Mother Baby Friendly Initiative. Also as part of Netcare’s approach to family centered care.
“In addition to its emotional and bonding benefits, kangaroo care encourages successful breastfeeding, which helps to ensure a healthy digestive tract and immune system.
“Kangaroo care assists in baby’s body temperature regulation. That can result in improved cardiac and respiratory function with more stable heart rates and blood pressure levels for babies.”
Sr Amori Jordaan, a specialist midwife and maternity unit manager at Netcare Linkwood Hospital, added that skin to skin baby care is of great value when carried out by fathers as well.
By Godfrey Sigwela