Kangaroo Care Awareness Day is on May 15th and I am celebrating this day by spreading information on the importance of skin-to-skin contact with my friends over at NüRoo.
Kangaroo care is the act of placing a newborn in direct skin-to-skin contact with the parent. This technique was initially developed and is most commonly known to be used in the NICU with premature babies. The skin-to-skin contact helps regulate the infants temperature and is a great technique for babies that were born prematurely. However, more and more it is used with both premature and full term babies and the benefits go way beyond regulation of body temperature. I interviewed the brand manager for NüRoo, Rachel Samuelian, who told me all about their innovative product – the NüRoo Pocket – designed to promote easy skin-to-skin contact and also shared information on the benefits of kangaroo care. And today, I am not only sharing this valuable information with you, but we will also be giving away one NüRoo Pocket to a lucky reader. Furthermore, NüRoo will be extending a special offer to The Loving Nest readers by giving you a 20% discount on any product from now until May 31st with the code LOVENEST.
1. Can you tell me what NüRoo is all about?
At NüRoo, we design products that foster the bond between mom and baby. We pay particular attention to what’s known as the “4th trimester”, or the first 3 months following birth. Our products are, and will always be, backed by scientific evidence. Our mission is to offer mom and baby optimal time together in those first few months, allowing for every early advantage.
2. Could you tell my readers how NüRoo got started?
Our founders, Daniela and Hope, learned about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact, also commonly called Kangaroo Care, from their nurse midwives. Once they understood the powerful benefits of skin-to-skin contact, they were hooked. But, coming home from the hospital to active families and older children running around didn’t exactly allow for the time to lay with baby skin-to-skin. After searching high and low for a product that would allow them to wear baby and keep them hands free, while simultaneously providing the benefits of skin-to-skin contact, they came up empty-handed. And that’s how NüRoo, and our flagship product, the NüRoo Pocket, was born.
3. What is skin-to-skin contact, exactly?
Skin-to-skin contact is a method of holding baby, who is only wearing a diaper, placed vertically on mom’s bare chest, creating full chest-to-chest contact. Holding baby this way stimulates the C-afferent nerve, which produces a hormonal cascade, and when practiced for an uninterrupted 60 minutes, delivers remarkable physiological and psychological benefits for both mom and baby.
4. I think moms often hear that skin-to-skin contact is a great way to bond with baby. What are some of the other benefits?
What’s really wonderful, and remarkable too, about the practice is that it provides benefits to both mom and baby. Benefits for baby include: accelerated brain development, reduced stress & crying, improved quality of sleep, regulated body temperature, enhanced immune system, weight gain, synchronization of heart rate and breathing, and increased breastfeeding behavior. Benefits for mom include: reduced risk of postpartum depression, increase in milk production, quicker postpartum recovery time, reduced blood pressure, decrease in cortisol /stress levels, and increased psychological well-being. Our website has information on each of these benefits!
5. How long do these benefits last?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that skin-to-skin be practiced through the entire postpartum period, or the first three months of baby’s life. Something we like to make sure that moms know is that even if you haven’t been practicing skin-to-skin since the day your baby was born, it’s never too late to get the benefits, so just start now!
6. Is there a “right” way to practice skin-to-skin?
So glad you asked that, because in fact, there is a right and a wrong way to practice skin-to-skin. To properly position baby you want to do the following:
1. Mom should be topless, not even a bra, with baby wearing only a diaper;
2. Place baby in a vertical position directly against your bare chest, with their shoulders resting on or above your breasts. Without baby placed in this vertical position, you would miss stimulating the C-afferent nerve, which is responsible for the hormonal cascade. See here for more information about positioning baby for skin-to-skin.
7. Would you tell me more about the Pocket?
Sure. The Pocket was the first product we designed. And it was born entirely of Daniela and Hope’s own desire to practice skin-to-skin with their babies when they came home from the hospital. But both of them already had toddlers running around the house, and that didn’t allow for too much down time, as you certainly know. They wanted to create a product for Mom that would allow them to practice skin-to-skin with their babies, delivering all of the great benefits, but that also kept them mobile. The Nüroo Pocket is a babywearing shirt that offers full coverage (something else that they wanted!) and total hands-free mobility, while mom and baby are fully skin-to-skin. Also, they wanted this to be something that was easy to get baby in and out of. There were so many products out there that involved complicated wrapping, knotting, or tying. The Pocket is literally a shirt that you just put on and then place baby into the interior pocket. No crazy gymnastics needed to get either of you in or out! It’s designed for both pre- and full-term babies and adheres to the sling/carrier standards, which means it’s been tested up to 45 pounds.
8. What would you tell parents that are unsure about purchasing a NüRoo product vs a product from another brand?
As a brand, NüRoo doesn’t just create products, we innovate entire categories. For example – there were baby carriers before us, but none were designed to foster the practice of skin-to-skin contact. That’s why we created the Pocket. We introduced our Nursing Scarf in a category of rumpled, dowdy covers. We saw opportunity to create a 3 sizes in 1 Swaddler in a category that’s dominated by having to buy a new Swaddler every time your baby gets bigger. Also, a big thing for us is that all of our products support practices that are backed by science. And our innovations will always be backed by science. Lastly, our fans will say it’s the soft signature fabric that runs throughout the line that sets our brand apart. We can’t disagree with that!
9. Which is your personal favorite product?
My personal favorite is the Pocket. It’s the product that NüRoo was founded on, and while our other products are equally fantastic, there is something so magical about wearing your baby directly on your skin. Not only is it one of the most calming things, to have that baby, heart beating directly on your body, nothing between you two, but the benefits of skin-to-skin truly blew me away when I fully understood them all. When I first was introduced to the practice of skin-to-skin, I thought it seemed like a great thing for bonding, having no idea all of the other benefits that are delivered with this practice. Once I knew that, I felt like EVERY mom needed to understand the power of skin to skin. And once you know the power of skin-to-skin, you want to figure out how you can practice that as much as possible with your baby. With my first baby, I purposefully tried to spend as much time skin-to-skin with her as I could. And don’t get me wrong, while laying in bed or on the couch with her was wonderful, and those lazy days were dreamy, it wasn’t always possible to just lay in bed or on the couch for an hour at a time. And now that I’m pregnant with baby #2, I know I’ll have even less time to be skin-to-skin in bed. I will be wearing my Pocket, because it will allow me to give that baby (and me!) all the benefits, but also chase after my toddler at the same time too!
10. One of my own main regrets was not “wearing” my daughter more when she was a newborn. Unfortunately, I found that putting her in a carrier or sling was too uncomfortable in the early days due to the pain on the incision site after a c-section. Is this different with the Nüroo Pocket?
We’ve heard feedback that wearing baby in the NüRoo Pocket was especially more comfortable post c-section because of how supportive our signature fabric is. The design of the shirt does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of distributing weight. The belt is to prevent baby from slipping, it is not weight bearing like many carriers, so there is no pressure at the point above or at incision. We’ve even been told that c-section moms would wear the belt alone to offer compression or hold ice packs/heat over tender areas post surgery.
I wanted to thank Rachel once again for the time she took in explaining so well the advantages of skin-to-skin and for NüRoo’s collaboration with The Loving Nest! I love to learn more about any and all products that are out there than can help parents and babies to an optimal start and this seems to be one of them! I for sure will be trying your products next time around.
Now, I am so glad that I get to share the gift of skin-to-skin with a lucky reader and parent!
Click to enter our Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY.
And don’t forget: from now until May 31st get 20% off any NüRoo product with the code LOVENEST.