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Kangaroo Care for Premature Infants

Topic Overview

Kangaroo care is the skin-to-skin holding of an infant on your chest, under a hospital gown or loose shirt. After a premature or sick infant is medically stable, parents can practice kangaroo care, which is known to have positive effects on an infant's heart rate and breathing, as well as on parent–infant bonding.

Many neonatal intensive care units encourage kangaroo care of premature infants. While some encourage early kangaroo care of tiny and ventilated infants, others reserve this practice for more developed, stable infants.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised April 14, 2011

Last Revised: April 14, 2011

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