Article submitted by Glenn Ellam - Fundraising Director, Rotary Club of Frankston North
The Rotary Club of Frankston North held its' Trivia Night on Saturday 23rd May to raise funds to supply Kangaroos Chairs for Frankston Hospital Maternity Unit.  Alison Conroy-Joyce, who is the Special Care Nursery Nurse Unit Manager at the hospital, explains below what Kangaroo Chairs are.
The Special Care Nursery at Frankston Hospital cares for sick and premature babies. Our last two years have seen a rapid rise in admissions and we now care for between 650-700 babies and their families every year. Our existing ward has limited facilities for parents and unfortunately, they are not able to be resident and sleep next to their babies. This means that mothers are separated from their babies which can be very distressing and emotionally challenging for them to cope with. While some babies are only admitted for a few hours, others can be in hospital for several weeks, particularly if they are born prematurely.
One of the most important ways we can reduce parental anxiety and promote bonding is to encourage parents to spend as much time as possible skin-to-skin with their baby. Skin-to-skin is known as kangaroo care and it has many benefits for both parents and baby. We have kangaroo care chairs that the parent reclines in with their baby positioned on their chest, skin-to-skin.
For mothers, kangaroo care can help with establishing breast feeding and is important in developing a strong attachment and bond with their baby. This is known to support mother’s emotional health and wellbeing as they begin their transition to parenthood. Babies also respond well to kangaroo care as it helps them to regulate their oxygen levels, heart rate and breathing rate.
Research suggests that regular kangaroo care can in fact reduce length of stay for babies in hospital and improve breastfeeding rates. All of these benefits highlight how crucial and important kangaroo care is and we really appreciate your support in purchasing an additional kangaroo care chair for families and babies in our Special Care Nursery.