Today is the 5th International Kangaroo Care Day, an incredible celebration of the power of skin to skin care. Created by the inspiring Yamile Jackson, a preemie mom and entrepreneur, it has grown into a true world-wide movement.
At Sunnybrook, our Kangaroo-a-thon concludes today, and we send a huge thank you to all the staff members, parents and babies who worked together to make it a huge success. We send an especially big thanks to our breastfeeding resource nurse, Luisa King, who has put in innumerable hours making sure this year’s was bigger and better than ever. The stats have not yet been tabulated, but we think based on the numbers so far that we may have bested our all-time record, AND managed to break new ground by ensuring many babies were held for more than 8 hours each day. We are so happy.
We are also thrilled by how our friends at other units have done with their Kangaroo-a-thons as part of the Kangaroo Challenge, in which units around the world engage in a friendly kangaroo care competition. We have seen amazing coverage in the news and on social media. If you’re on Twitter, you can check in on the action with #kangaroocare, #kangaroochallenge or #kangarooathon. We have also seen a satisfying number of medical professionals dressed up as kangaroos, which is something we will encourage our staff to do next year.
Our partner, the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation, has worked hard to bring the Challenge to parents, and have posted some wonderful updates on the CPBF blog. (We’ve already watched the beautiful photo montage they created about a billion times). They will also be offering up a lovely embroidered kangaroo to the winning unit; we won’t know who that is until the end of the month, but we will be sure to keep you posted.
We hope all of you out there enjoy today. If you are in the NICU with your baby, know that the gift of your touch is powerful beyond measure. If you are a staff member who helps reunite babies and parents, we offer you our sincere thanks. You are transforming lives with your work. And if you are home with your loved ones, give them some big hugs. They aren’t just for preemies, you know?!