'Kangarooing' shows positive impact on premature babies at WakeMed

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The WakeMed NICU says Kangarooing can benefit babies and parents (WTVD)

The WakeMed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is wrapping up an 11-day Kangaroo-a-thon, and event that promotes skin-to-skin contact between newborns and their parents.

With 20 tiny fingers and 20 tiny toes, two tiny twin boys lay near their mother, first-time mom Leslie Batten. Her boys, Aaron and Daniel, were born 13 weeks early.

Batten has been holding Daniel, her youngest by 15 minutes, on her bare chest. She's "kangarooing," which is a term used to describe skin-to-skin contact between a new parent and their newborn.

"They feel my heartbeat and I think they sync up with that," Batten said.


Dr. Jim Helm says that skin-to-skin contact benefits the parents as well as the infants. Helms says mothers have an increase in milk production and babies become more relaxed and sleep better. For Daniel and Aaron, a major benefit is weight gain.

Batten says that seeing her sons improve with kangarooing is encouraging.

It's recommended that parents kangaroo for at least the first month of life, but Batten says she will kangaroo as long as she can.

Batten hopes Daniel and Aaron will go home with her on their original due date, July 22.

A fundraiser has been set up to help pay for their medical expenses. Donations can be made online.

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