If you've ever seen a kangaroo at a zoo or in a movie or in a book then you know they carry their babies in their pouches. Humans can do it too.
If you've ever seen a kangaroo at a zoo or in a movie or in a book then you know they carry their babies in their pouches.
Humans can do something similar with benefits for babies and their parents.
"It just makes me feel closer to him," Claire Lieurance said.
Holding her baby is something Claire Lieurance could not do when Dawson was born early and taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital.
"I could put my hands in there and touch his hands and stuff but I couldn't hold him for a week," she said.
Then she found comfort in a simple practice called Kangaroo Care.
"It's just skin to skin care where they just put him down your shirt or your dress so their skin's on yours. It helps them and it helps the moms too," she said.
Kangaroo Care is something Children's Hospital is promoting with displays and banners because the health benefits are amazing.
"They gain weight quicker, they go home quicker," Leanne Gibbs said.
Leanne Gibbs is a nurse and a lactation consultant whose seen the benefits of Kangaroo Care.
"It does help the baby maintain a steady temperature and that causes the baby to burn less energy and to gain weight better. It also causes the babies to go in to a deep sleep and if they can do that for like an hour they get a lot of benefits. They get brain growth and development," she said.
Sarah Addis said ,"His heart rate calms down, his breathing gets better, and it's just so special to be able to share that with him and know that I am helping him in some way."
That's what Sarah Addis has experienced with Kangaroo Care with her son Liam. He was born early with some issues with his lungs requiring a jet ventilator.
"During that time I wasn't able to hold him just with all the tubing," she said.
Of course, the latest technology is part of treatment in the NICU. But this back to basics action recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics is also important.
Sarah Addis said, "It's hard knowing there's not much I can do while he's here but to be able to do something like this is huge."
Leanne Gibbs said, "Kangaroo Care is also something that our father's get involved in. In fact, we have a little dad right now who holds his baby every day."
For parents, holding their baby is a simple thing to do. For parents of preemies, it can help them heal.
"That's one way that parents can take care of their baby that no one else can," she said.