Premature babies should be brought into close physical contact with their parents as soon as possible after birth, say Germany’s Professional Association of Pediatricians. The hearts and lungs of babies who have contact with their parents tend to develop quickly. This allows babies to be discharged from hospitals earlier.
According to Thomas Fendel, a spokesman, “There is evidence that premature babies have a better rate of development, grow faster and suffer less brain damage if they receive plenty of warmth and attention.”
A tried and tested way of bringing the baby into contact with its parents is the Kangaroo Care method, which consists of placing the baby with an exposed upper body onto a parent’s chest and covering it with a blanket.
“The body’s warmth and the feeling of security gives the baby life-saving energy,” added Fendel, who recommends consulting a pediatrician after the baby has been discharged from hospital and working out an after care plan. Besides, such a plan can also help to detect development disorders and any signs of handicap.
Fendel also added that it is often helpful to share experiences with parents of other premature children.