Using a KangaCarrier

Easily carry your baby skin-to-skin using Kangaroo Mother Care. This assures your newborn gets what is essential.

Evidence-Based

This carrier is based on decades of research which changed WHO's early infant care guidelines in 2023!

Support for "Golden Hour"+

In the womb, baby and mom are one. After birth, mom gives ideal warmth, protection and nourishment.


Embody Ideal Newborn Care

Baby's optimal brain and nervous system development is best met for baby with you.

You should never be separated from your newborn baby.

How does a KangaCarrier help?

It enables you to do immediate, continuous skin-to-skin contact safely. The wrap-around shirt and wrapper use a technique that includes specially stabilizing your baby’s airway. The baby’s best interests are met by correctly and safely tying-on your newborn infant, which also will maximize comfort. The KangaCarrier means your baby is in the optimal place, and also its design allows you to leave your hands free to get on with life.

Step #1 - Tie on the KangaCarrier Wrapper

 The triangular WRAPPER is for the baby’s safety – to fix airway.

  • Place baby facing their mother’s chest (or on a surrogate). Baby’s arms are bent up and legs flexed (knees to their chest) with head facing either way. Keep one hand supporting under baby’s feet to keep knees bent.
  • Fold the longest side of the wrapper outward and downward twice ~5cm (2in) each fold. (This prevents fabric edge/seam from touching or creasing baby’s skin.)
  • The wrapper goes around mom very high on the back (almost in the armpits), with two corners pulled to one side (near her armpit). 
  • Then, place the wrapper’s longer edge on back of baby’s skull, under their ear, along their jawline toward the chin. This lifts chin ~10 degrees upward, an important angle for baby’s airway. 
  • Tighten the wrapper firmly. Tie a bow in front of mother’s armpit – to hold the baby firmly to her chest. The bow must be able to be untied quickly, if needed. (Using a bow with one-loop is fine, depending on the amount of fabric available.)
  • In this position, baby’s airway is fixed firmly to the mother’s chest – it remains open and protected, and gravity helps with healthy abdominal breathing.
  • Also, baby is in the fetal position, like in the womb.
  • There is maximum skin-to-skin contact and baby sleeps safely.

Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) helps parents rediscover a natural way to care for their newborns, restoring the original paradigm of infant care.

KMC Full-term Babies (born 37 weeks+)

KMC started for low birth babies, but principles apply equally to well-grown ones. The first weeks of life, a KangaCarrier assures that you and your baby have a great start.

KMC for Low Birth Weight Babies

Many of these babies have special needs and require medical care. Both can be provided together with continuous skin-to -skin contact (and trained professional support).

KMC for Premie Babies (born before 37 weeks)

KMC was originally designed to enable parents (of prems) to be permanent incubators to keep babies warm. It is ideal - parents are tuned-in to their needs and babies are not alone.

Medical research shows maternal-infant skin-to-skin contact is best for keeping babies warm. It provides better breathing and heart rate, plus improved breastfeeding and growth.

Step #2 - put on the KangaCarrier SHIRT

  The SHIRT is important for mother and her comfort.

  • Place both arms through the holes, with the opening to the front.
  • Cross one flap under the baby’s bottom and up over their back and behind their head. 
  • Take the long tie around the mother’s body, and inserting the end through one slit (along the side seams near the waist area). 
  • Take the tie around mother’s back to the other side, then to the front.
  • Repeat this to do the same for the other flap and tie. 
  • Take the two long ties and secure firmly with a bow ideally at the front if ties are long enough (or it can be at the side). The bow needs to be able to be untied quickly, if needed.
  • The baby should be facing the mother and positioned with their knees pulled upward. 
  • To breastfed, loosen the shirt and then the wrapper.

The shirt flaps support baby snuggly, comfortably and safely. Baby is now full contained. This allows “pregnancy to continue”, and mother’s hands are free – so can sleep and move.

The care of premature and low birth-weight infants should always be under the supervision of suitably qualified health professionals. No liability for any adverse event in any way related to the use of the KangaCarrier is accepted by NINO Kangaroula, Nils Bergman, BirthWorks International (BWI), and/or Fine Tailoring and Dressmaking. KangaCarrier design is Copyright©2001-2024 Nino Kangaroula

 

Kangaroulas advocate for primal health and neuroscience. This NurtureScience is taught by our KMC experts and BWI Trainers for Kangaroula:

Dr. Nils Bergman

Dr. Nils Bergman

Dr. Bergman’s research changed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for early infant care in 2023! His passion starts with “skin-to-skin” contact of mother and baby. He qualified in Cape Town, South Africa, then worked as a Manama Mission doctor in Zimbabwe. With midwife Agneta Jurisoo, he developed and implemented Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for premature babies. Since then, the ongoing research has been presented as keynote lectures at conferences in six continents. 

Jill Bergman

Jill is passionate about helping parents and their babies get the best start in life. She is an advocate, a voice for the newborn. She received her Teachers Diploma from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1983. She taught in Zimbabwe and South Africa and lectured at the teachers training college. She has supported the work of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) since 1988, and played a key role in her full-time capacity since 2000. 

Jill Bergman

Frequently Asked Questions

Zero separation of mother and baby, especially in the first seconds, minutes and hours of life is critical. This is true in all babies –  including premature babies – because it equates to less stress and optimal development.

What happens in the first few days impacts long-term well-being, breastfeeding success and even the baby’s ability to connect socially (long-term social emotional learning).

The golden hour is a concept that says the first hour of the baby’s life matters so much for their health and wellness. It is true! BUT the idea of a golden hour does not highlight how the initial seconds/minutes matter most.

Also, the “golden hour” bounds with limits more of what is possible – one hour touches just part of the key time for a baby’s development. If people just follow the golden “hour” idea, they are not doing the optimal for baby.

Kangaroulas understand the deep value of the first 1000 seconds AND 1000 minutes AND 1000 hours!

  • 1000 seconds = 16.67 minutes
  • 1000 minutes = 16.67 hours or 2/3 of a day!
  • 1000 hours = 41.67 days or over a month!

It’s best for baby we take the golden hour as part of a longer key time period, that is exceptionally important.

It is based on decades of research. The way it is made assures safety for the baby – which assures their airway is open and their heart rate regulates well. It gives them the ideal place/environment to eat, rest, relax and sleep, and they will feel warm, safe and protected.

It also gives mom confidence – she knows her baby is safe and in the best place. It also gives her freedom to move around and use her hands – at the same time she is holding her baby! Baby can sleep in this carrier on mom, too. Use of the carrier is great for mother’s peace of mind and ease in daily life.

Kangaroulas offer intentional care helping parents be informed before labor, experience ideal support during birth, and optimize best practices once babies are born. Kangaroulas are the voice for the baby!

Kangaroulas “educate” by modeling through actions ways that enhance health, create ease and support by honoring the mom-baby connection, and shift practices which (maybe well-intentioned) are often detrimental.

This means mother and baby does not just survive but thrive! It is ideal that the Kangaroula meet the parents during pregnancy.

It is deeply needed! The reality is often there is a lack of support for new parents and babies in most places. Even if support exists often there is a gap between birth doula and postpartum care — as well as a huge gap in typical medical practices, where babies (especially if premature or in intensive care) are routinely separated from their parents.

Research shows this is detrimental to babies’ initial development, very important (for ongoing) health and specifically neurodevelopment – of their brains and nervous systems!

Research shows short-term experience of the first minutes and hours impacts health and wellness of a baby through life!

The baby does not have a voice! In pregnancy, baby automatically gets much of what it needs. That shifts after birth. It is useful to consider – what is the baby expecting?

The mother’s connection to baby and intuition often assure baby gets what they best need. But if she’s tired, not well, or happy with the birth, this may not be the case.

Doing skin-to-skin early on and using a KangaCarrier assure things are aligned (even if they baby could speak that first hour or day, if they are with mom, the baby would probably not ask for much!).

Although mother is the ideal, it is still very beneficial for someone else to hold the baby. If it can be the second parent, or someone else who lives in the home with mother, and ideally will be one of the primary caregivers, then they are the next great choices.

For baby, they will recognize the voice and energy of those people. Also, if the mother feels good about who that person is holding the baby, it helps her relax which positively impacts her over time and the baby too.

A grandparent, family member (an aunt or even older sibling) or other regular caregiver can also be a “surrogate”. Whoever primary caregivers are can also take turns holding baby if needed.

Immediate and continuous Kangaroula care (baby on mother’s chest and skin-to-skin) is the ideal. That means just after birth, baby is put directly on the mother’s belly or chest (even if a premie or low weight baby – if the medical support team has the expertise to do that).

Evidence shows the importance of this care goes further beyond what we often hear is the “golden hour” into the first hours, days and even weeks. The earlier moments of life are most important, and carrying ideal care into the first day and weeks is key.

Very simply – right place, right time, right behavior – the child’s best interests are of paramount importance (from the Convention on the Rights of a Child). KMC means we go beyond risk reduction to health enhancement. We are not just taking steps for non-maleficence – to make sure we do not hurt the baby – but we are actively doing good (beneficence) meaning we do all we can to optimize the best for the baby’s needs.

The earlier these needs are met (and best met if on mom’s chest skin-to-skin) the better. The behavior part is really about the baby’s brain and nervous system – if they can relax and sleep, then breastfeeding is easier, sleep quality is better, and learning is enhanced. This equates to optimal development.

We have known that in developing countries, mother (or surrogate)/baby skin-to-skin contact after birth reduces mortality in infants with a birth weight less than 2.0 kg (4.4 lbs) by 25% once they are clinically stable, which averages three to seven days, but this new important study proves much more: “Among infants with a birth weight between 1.0 (2 lbs) and 1.799 kg, (3.96 lbs) those (infants) who received immediate kangaroo mother care had a lower mortality at 28 days than those who received conventional care with kangaroo mother care initiated after stabilization.”

This evidence now shows that the underlying science of Zero Separation from the moment of birth has been validated, with a further 25% reduction in infant mortality, helping premature and low birthweight babies to survive and thrive and potentially saving 150,000 lives each year according to the World Health Organization. This important study calls for a global paradigm shift in infant care including the development of “Mother Newborn Care Intensive Care Units” to create as close as possible, zero separation environments. The results of this study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in a grant to the World Health Organization, were so significant that the trial was stopped early [no need to do further research as planned to prove the hypothesis] on the recommendation of the data and safety monitoring board owing to the finding of reduced mortality among infants receiving immediate kangaroo mother care. Read more:

These babies and their parents have special needs and deserve special care. Doing KMC with these babies is most often the ideal way they receive what they need – AND to provide the best support means understanding the mother-baby and birthplace.
 
Working with a Certified Kangaroula is ideal. You can explore our online directory to find Kangaroulas in your area.
 
If you want to bring KMC to your workplace – learn all about Kangaroula Health and Profesional Workshops and Grand Round with Dr. NIls Bergman. These are designed for the specific needs of your institution.
 
 

They are based on the science behind meeting the needs of both the mother and the baby. They include – prevention and promotive care, care for complications, and family involvement and support.

The evidence and practical application of KMC justifies that ensuring mothers and babies stay together after birth is ideal. There is a deep need for health and medical providers and trained Kangaroulas to assure education and support are there for all parents and babies.

Are you a birth or medical professional

looking to become a Kangaroula?

Join a regular training with Dr. Nils Bergman and Jill Bergman. You can become a Registered Kangaroula or Certified Kangaroula. Kangaroo Mother Care can also be taught at your birth center or hospital (including Grand Rounds.

Upcoming Events

Kangaroula Training
virtual

Kangaroula Workshop – September 2024 (virtual)

September 7-10 | Saturday-Tuesday 9am-1:30pm EDT | $475 – $525 Dive deeper into the Art

Kangaroula Training
virtual

Kangaroula Workshop – November 2024 (virtual)

November 8-11 | Friday-Monday 6am-10:30am EDT | $475 – $525 Dive deeper into the Art

Kangaroula Training
virtual

Kangaroula Workshop – April 2025 (virtual)

April 3-6 | Thursday-Sunday 9am-1:30pm EDT | $475 – $525 Dive deeper into the Art

Have a Question? Let’s Chat.

Please don’t hesitate to reach us, happy to be in touch.

Cristin Tighe
Executive Director & International Coordinator
info@birthworks.org
1-609-953-9380
1-202-276-3521 Mobile/WhatsApp