How Kangaroo Care Day started in 2011
In a recent press release statement from the founder of the International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day, Yamile Jackson, PhD, PE, PMP, said,
“I held my son, Zachary, in skin to skin contact when he was born prematurely on May 15th,2001 in Houston, TX weighing less than 2 pounds. He was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 5 months. The NICU is an intimidating place, where you see your tiny baby fighting to survive. It is full of equipment, loud by alarm sounds, but when I "connected by touch" with Zachary, my world (and his) changed.
Holding him skin to skin kept him warm and alive (and kept me calm) when his hospital and life-support equipment lost power due to the deluge of Tropical Storm Allison when he was only 3 weeks old.
Even now, Zachary, Larry and I keep experiencing the positive outcomes of Kangaroo Care. The Kangaroo Care Day's mission is to accelerate the transition from evidence of kangaroo care to its implementation and practice.
Staff supports parents to hold their babies as long as possible, as uninterrupted as possible and as prolonged as possible, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day started as an idea to honor Zachary keeping my promise that his pain and struggle to survive the flood were not in vain. The day was designed to raise awareness of the kangaroo care method/skin to skin contact for parents, staff, and community at large; and to advocate for the safe practice to protect the baby. Zachary turns 18 this year, wants to be an automotive engineer, and he is healthy and full of life.”