Kangaroo Care for ALL?

When we talked about Kangaroo care in class I was perplexed.  I had never heard of such a thing and it fascinated me.  To think that such a simple act of holding a child could have such a monumental outcome is amazing.  Human touch is an extremely powerful tool in the lives of virtually all people.  It brings babies that are clinging to life to a miraculously healthier state and a predictively better future developmental success. 

After learning all of this I couldn’t help but think….  If Kangaroo Care is this beneficial for a newborn child, would it be helpful in children and adults as well?  This sounds a little wierd, but you think of people that are incredibly ill, in a hospital bed, hooked up to numerous machines because their body can not function on its own.  Many of these machines may be helping to regulate the heart rate, breathing and temperature of the person.  Would it be feasible to think that a form of Kangaroo Care could be applied to these types of situations?   Depending on the situation could it help regulate the heart rate and breathing of the individual, along with the other positive effects of Kangaroo Care?  If it did nothing else, couldn’t it be possible that Kangaroo Care could help increase the “happy” brain waves discussed in class that it is proven to have an effect on?   Maybe it wouldn’t be appropriate in many cases to have direct skin to skin contact, but the act of holding another person could possibly have at least temporary benefits.  Many of these types of patients may not be able to move because of the type of equiment they are hooked up to, but the idea of some sort of human touch could still be manipulated in some small manner.  It would be very interesting to see what kind of benefits a person could recieve from this kind of interaction. 

Maybe this idea is totally off the wall!  I’m not trying to say that Kangaroo Care is the answer to all our problems and that modern medicine is not essential, but it would be interesting to see if it could benefit people in the same way it does these premature infants.  I was unable to find any data to back me up on this but I thought I would just throw it out there!

Rebekah Pinegar

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~ by rebekahcp on September 3, 2009.

5 Responses to “Kangaroo Care for ALL?”

  1. wow, that is an amazing idea. we know that a child needs physical interaction not just food, clothing, and shelter. we can also observe that touching and interaction is beneficial espescially when we see what the lack of it has done to children in bad orphanages, but that it might perhaps help heal injured and ill persons in the hospital is an amazing and insightful idea.

    Emily Blackburn

  2. I find your idea a rather compelling, considering the documented effects of “therapy animals” on long term hospital care and a patient’s well being. A gross oversimplification: A dog comes and visits you and you feel better. link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapy_dog
    How much better might a patient do if they were being cuddled by a nurse for, say an hour. The assumption being that a person can do the job better than a dog. Of course one might point out that this is a role that should be given to friends (and family) of the patient, but its rather difficult for a guy to ask his buddies to “hold me close”.
    What if the benifits of adult kangaroo care could extend to everyday normal people? Perhaps a long hug once a day may help anxiety, and depression.
    I think there may be wide spread untapped benefits of this and it should be studied immediately.
    stuart walker

  3. There was some study done about body cycles sync when people are at close proximity for a peroid of time. Could the effect of holding the baby close to body on regulating heart rate be the synchronization of parent-child internal clocks? Is the heart rate regulated by using parent’s heart beat?
    Behzad Moaddeli

  4. This is a very interesting idea. I know when we were talking about Kangaroo care in class I was so amazed by it and how our body temperature regulates with the babies’. It would be an interesting experiment to try and see the results!
    Lisa Tamburrino

  5. This seems to be a great topic of discussion. As we have seemed to touch a bit on nature vs. nurture, I’ve learned that we cannot fully rely on biological evidence and/or evidence that could be ‘more’ easily proven (perhaps ‘hard’ sciences vs. ‘social’ sciences).

    If we review those who are hookedup to machines, many can be considered in a ‘veggie’ stage. Numerous story’s have stated that even those in coma’s can still feel, hear, sense and/or etc. Even eyewitness stories from those who experienced it and came out of the coma. My friend said the same before she passed (after she woke). i.e. She was in a coma and her mother was holder her hand. She wanted to respond to her mother’s tears, but she clearly couldn’t talk.

    As freud implies, many times we seem to be unaware of our unconcious. I can see that I’m often unaware…until I fell flat on my face! Some of these failures seem to be some of my greatest accopmlishments.

    Along similar lines, to fully neglect intuition seems rather unreasonable, and thus perhaps illogical. We are human, in essence, and thus, just another living organism. Being that we are human, it’s apparent that we feel. What we feel seems to affect our lives and other around us. That feeling coming from the hear and that of the soul that give us life. We seem to feel better when comforted.

    It seems accurate that I could feel the effect of kangaroo care when I hug my mother, father, partner, etc. I can only imagine what I’d feel if I lost them (and that of the feeling they generate).

    Zach Rusk

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