Kangaroo Care as a Neonatal Therapy

Susan M. Ludington-Hoe RN, CNM, PhD, FAAN


NAINR. 2013;13(2):73-75. 

In This Article

Monitor Infant Handling to Minimize Adverse Physiologic Responses and Provide Periods of Rest

Noxious handling is well known to lead to harmful fluctuations in physiologic parameters, mandating minimal noxious handling and augmentation with gentle, pleasing human touch.[15,25]

As to providing periods of rest, nothing beats KC. The best sleep for all infants is quiet sleep, but in the incubator and during swaddled holding quiet sleep is of very short duration and interrupted by arousals, prohibiting the infant from getting the good sleep that promotes brain development.[26] In KC, quiet sleep continues for up to 23 consecutive minutes,[27] the number of arousals is very low and completion of a cycle of sleep occurs each hour of KC,[28] allowing KC sleep to accelerate brain maturation[29] and promote brain connectivity and complexity.[30] When one observes the infant sleeping in KC one will notice that the infant is so deeply asleep that environmental perturbations do not arouse the infant, allowing the infant a real respite from the NICU environment.