Did you know skin-to-skin holding is associated with lower parental anxiety, greater confidence in parenting skills and higher breastfeeding rates?
In the 2016 study by Sweeny and colleagues, entitled Impact of Kangaroo Care on Parental Anxiety Level and Parenting Skills for Preterm Infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, researches studied the impact of kangaroo care on parental anxiety levels, breastfeeding rates and readiness at discharge. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was completed pre and post kangaroo care sessions. Additionally, a parental readiness survey was completed at discharge and rates of breastfeeding were collected. Researchers found lower anxiety scores on the STAI, although not clinically significant. They also determined 91% of parents who completed kangaroo care reported being very or extremely confident in caring for their infant, compared to only 66% of parents who did not complete kangaroo care.
Kangaroo Care, or skin-to-skin, has been consistently demonstrated in the research as very beneficial practice in the NICU. However, safety and consistency of this practice is critically important! Creative Therapy Consults offers Educational DVDs which provide consistent education to both staff and families to increase the frequency of skin-to-skin holding in your NICU! Find out more here!
Sweeny, S., Rothstein, R., Visintainer, P., Rothstein, R., Singh, R. (2016). Impact of kangaroo care on parental anxiety level and parenting skills for preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 23 (3), 151-158.