Wichita, KS – Parents want their children to grow into intelligent, creative, caring adults, but according to Dr. Barb Morrison, the care currently provided to newborn infants may be causing more harm than good.
Dr. Morrison is a certified nurse midwife (CNM) and among the most vocal advocates of “Kangaroo Care,” the method of holding an infant skin-to skin to strengthen the bond between parent and child, facilitate breastfeeding and encourage social development. DrBarb is part of a growing movement among health care practitioners who hope to see Kangaroo Care practiced more broadly to become routine procedure in infant care.
“It’s about listening and acting on parental instincts from the very second you have a child,” explains DrBarb. “Newborns need warmth, protection, comfort and ready access to food. That habitat is skin-to-skin on mom’s chest, or Kangaroo Care.”
By nurturing through proximity, the infant feels more secure, opening the path to physical and psychological health.
“There’s a dance that goes on between mothers and their infants, the initiation of communication,” says DrBarb. “We did not survive as a species without holding and skin-to-skin touch. Kangaroo Care is a rediscovery of the instinctual relationship between mothers and their infants.”
While we may want our children to develop independence, it’s not appropriate at such a young age. Infants separated from their mothers during the first months feel they’ve been abandoned. As a result, the midbrain becomes more developed, which can lead to bullying, personality disorders, aggression and even violence.
“We’ve got to get the word out!” says DrBarb. “Having mothers do Kangaroo Care through much of the first two years is a much easier solution than therapy, down the road.”
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