Avera NICU nurses spread awareness of International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There are many benefits for babies to have skin to skin contact, especially if they’re in the NICU. On Wednesday, NICU nurses at Avera are using a unique way to spread awareness.

ElsieAnn Blom uses kangaroo care for her daughter Lauren who was born at just 27 weeks and 2 days.

“Her first 4 days she was here, we couldn’t hold her at all due to her brain needing to develop more, so we started to hold her four days after and they said the kangaroo care would really help her brain development and help her thrive so we try to hold her every day,” mom, ElsieAnn Blom said.

Kangaroo care, or skin to skin contact, is beneficial for babies who are born early.

“It can really help keep the baby’s temperature regulated, our babies have the be in isolets usually when they’re small to keep their temperature regulated, and it really helps to be on mom or dads skin to keep temperatures  regulated, it can also help to keep their blood sugars,” neonatologist, Avera, Natasha Lopez said.

May 15th is international kangaroo care awareness day. To help spread awareness, NICU nurses are dressing up as kangaroos.

“We handed out candy in the sky walk this morning to catch people’s attention,” NICU nurse, Avera, Cari Snaza said. “Skin to skin is very important, it can help bring a mom’s milk in, regulate a babies heartbeat, their respiratory, their temperature, super important for bonding with families.”

They even gave Blom a specialized wrap, called a Zaky ZAK.

“It is difficult sometimes in the NICU when babies have lots of lines and machines that they’re connected to but our nurses are really good at being able to get the baby onto moms chest with the help of our nursing staff, and so I know they have some of these apparatuses and wraps that help, and the Zaky ZAK is one of those,” Lopez said.

A technique Blom knows is working.

“She’s getting better every day,” Blomsaid.

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