Kangaroo Mother Care appeal

Kangaroo care is a method of caring for a baby where the mother nurses the infant on her bare chest.

The Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust is asking for help with its Kangaroo Mother Care programme.

Working in partnership with the Greater Tygerberg Partnership, they are asking for toiletries for mothers who are part of the programme.

Trust spokesperson, Candice Jansen said kangaroo care is a method of caring for a baby where the mother nurses the infant on her bare chest.

This skin-to-skin contact be-
tween mothers and babies is encouraged with infants who are born with a low birth weight (less than 2.5 kilograms) or babies born prematurely. The skin-to-skin contact with the mother regulates the baby’s body temperature, making the infant feel safe.

The baby can breastfeed, picks up weight much faster and can go home sooner.

Ms Jansen said the Covid-19 pandemic is having a direct impact
on the programme’s mothers because of restricted access to the hospital.

“Because of the restrictions, they have to sleep over at the hospital lodgings for days at a time to ensure they’re able to provide kangaroo care for their new-born babies. In addition to pressure on availability of beds, most of the moms don’t have toiletries and clothes for their sleep-over at the hospital,” said Ms Jansen.

They are appealing for a donation of self-care items: toothpaste, toothbrushes, women’s roll-on deodorant, maternity sanitary pads, shampoo, conditioner, body moisturiser, face cloth, soap, washing powder (for machines) so mothers can wash their clothes, clothing for mothers as well as snack packs.

Ms Jansen said Kangaroo Mother Care provides a wealth of benefits, such as increasing the bond between mum and baby, reducing mortality, encouraging exclusive breastfeeding and is also a way of nursing an infant to complete the “gestation” outside the uterus.

The Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust has been servicing the fundraising needs of the Tygerberg Children’s wing since 2001, often against many odds.

About 15 000 children are admitted annually to the approximately 300 inpatient beds. Many of these children remain in hospital for lengthy periods. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah Tutu are its patrons.

If you can help, contact them at admin@tygerbergchildren.org.za, or Yolanda Smith at 072 595 2536.