Long-term academic research with practical application for best-standard newborn care
Support for Term Babies
Know how to help the mother-baby dyad with skin-to-skin, for less stress and successful breastfeeding
Ideal Care for Premies
Life-saving care on optimal feeding and bonding, creates the ideal brain and nervous system development
Premie- Focused Kangaroula Care
Neuroseience Improves Neonatal Outcomes!
This Health Professionals Workshop will super-skill labor and delivery nurses, NICU nurses and midwives in the neuroscience of birth, transition and early physiology — in order to better meet needs of the developing brain of the preterm baby and improve long-term neonatal outcomes. This science includes specifically the parents’ role in regulation and maternal neuroplasticity. Derived from basic principles, enhance your counseling skills, the ability to support in various adverse outcomes, as well as the providing practical support for very early breastfeeding of preterms. Accomplishing this results in empowerment of parents, and increased efficacy of mothers. This course is also for Certified Kangaroulas.
Kangaroula Training teaches...
Overview of a Customized Health Professionals Workshop:
- Brain development of the fetus and the newborn, including key role of skin-to-skin contact
- Practical application for unstable and very small neonates
- Significant and practical involvement of parents in all aspects of care of very small neonates
- Counseling skills and content for parents, also for severe morbidity and mortality
- Specific support for early feeding, suckling and subsequent breastfeeding, as well as parental needs after discharge
- Re-orienting the ethos of the NICU to include parents in care
- Didactic lectures and hands-on demonstrations with mannequins (and if hospital allows, with parental consent, NICU or step-down unit practicals are possible)
- Typically offered over two full days (16 hours), with Dr. Bergman available for all follow-up questions
- More on in-depth feeding and related practicalities, how to minimize stress and despair, and training on Immediate Mother Care (IMC), based on the published WHO study
- Workshop fee is $4,000US daily, or lower fee for multiple days to $3,000US or $2,000US (each additional day lowers daily fee)
Options for Health Professionals!
Kangaroula Certification for Individuals
Join a Registered Kangaroula workshop to advocate for full-term infants then continue Personal Mentoring to be a Certified Kangaroula
Hospital Grand Rounds with Dr. Nils Bergman
Be a leading facility, updated on the value and application of Immediate Kangaroo Mother Care (IMC), for optimal health and development
Health & Medical Professionals Workshop
A Kangaroula-customized workshop is the best way to bring nurture science to your hospital, NICU or local birth center
Offer fantastic Kangaroula care, working with parents, to best support their babies’ health and literally save lives. Start Now!
A Kangaroula speaks for the baby’s needs, minimizes stress for a more peaceful transition, and empowers a mother to read the baby’s signals. How the baby’s brain is wired matters for coping, which is especially important for small or preterm babies.
Conversely, a very stressful birth can mean a baby is epigenetically wired in a way that can lead to negative effects in adulthood. This can be minimized by zero-separation of mother and baby as the familiar SAFE PLACE and caring for for them as ONE.
Kangaroula training brings value...
Grand Rounds with Dr. Nils Bergman:
- Advanced professional expertise and skills to fill a gap where best practices for babies health are often lost.
- At the key times of birth and just after, effective Kangaroula care highly impact babies’ early development, as well as health and well-being through their entire lives.
- From the babies’ view, everything just changed: dark to light, peaceful to noisy, held tightly to being un-contained, having to breathe themselves, and needing to learn to suckle and feed. What happens right after birth either enhances health or is a detriment to development.
- Dr. Nils Bergman and is wife Jill Bergman are exceptionally inspiring trainers with decades of work in the field, experience teaching nurturescience globally, and expertise from overseeing a massive WHO study on Kangaroula care that inspires all to do this work!
- In-person Grand Rounds ($1,000US fee) includes one hour of section and one hour of live Q&A
- Virtual Grand Rounds ($500US fee) includes one-hour of pre-recorded content sent ahead (available to watch three times total) plus one additional hour of in-person online Q&A
Kangaroulas are the voice of advocacy for babies - for primal health, nurture science and neuroscience. Training your staff saves lives and assures best development.
Dr. Nils Bergman
Dr. Nils Bergman
Dr. Bergman’s 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 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is a lack of support for new parents and babies 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, very important (and ongoing) health, in particular neurodevelopment – of their brains and nervous systems!
Zero separation of mother and baby, especially in the first seconds, minutes and hours of life is critical – even in 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).
Kangaroulas offer intentional care helping parents be informed before labor, experience ideal support during birth, and optimize best practices once babies are born. 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. Also, earning your Kangaroula credential is wonderful, to offer enhanced services to your clients (and make more money) by helping their babies – not just survive but thrive!
- $525US Kangaroula Workshop ($50 off early discount) to become a Registered Kangaroula
- $150US Workshop Review Fee (optional, if you ever want to attend again)
- Certified Kangaroula fees:
- $200US Mentoring
- $250US Kangaroula Advanced Workshop ($50 off early discount)
- $30US Nino Birth one-time registration
- Register and pay for the Kangaroula Workshop
- Watch four-hours of videos you have access to before the first day and watch a two-hour video after the second day, coming prepared to discuss them
- Read through the academic journal research articles you are given private access to online – either as they are mentioned on certain training days or after on your own time (you will always be able to access these after the workshop)
- Full participation in all hours of the workshop and complete the evaluation at the end
- Afterward, you receive an e-certificate with your status as internationally-recognized Registered Kangaroula and an official registration number with NINO Academy (Nueroscience for Improved Neonatal Outcomes), the Bergman’s certification organization
- There are no further fees or requirements, but encouragement to keep updated with the latest research through your access to the online resources
- Maintain ongoing good standing with BirthWorks and NINO Birth (Kangaroula) to keep your status
- Take the Kangaroula Workshop and fulfill all requirements for Registered Kangaroula status – this is required first if you chose to pursue the credential of Certified Kangaroula
- Complete reading of the academic journal articles
- It is essential to do observations for at least five births and complete the client forms provided, with insights and reflections on how the baby responds to the environment. (Births count for certification only after your Kangaroula workshop.)
- Mentoring directly with Jill Bergman is available to support you via email, WhatsApp or Zoom:
- If needed, after the workshop to answer questions or help you get started
- As you complete births, email forms to Jill for discussion and reflection on your learning. (Mentoring does not have to be after each birth, but can be after two to three – based on your needs.)
- If other students are being mentored on a similar timeline, then Jill may set up small groups to enhance learning.
- After you support five (or more if Jill requests) births and complete client forms, write a half-page summary of your experience
- Attend a one-day Kangaroula Advanced Certification Workshop – offered virtually, on short notice with five people minimum in semi-private format – the timing of this workshop in your process may vary (depending on timing of when it’s offered)
- Pay a one-time $30US NINO Academy fee
- Receive your e-certificate as an internationally-recognized Certified Kangaroula
- Personal Kangaroula listing on BirthWorks International Professional Directory
- Agree after Certification to maintain competence with regular annual education credits, by reading or downloading a new article online and answering five questions
- Maintain ongoing, good standing with BirthWorks and NINO Birth (Kangaroula) to keep your status
- Pre-workshop – you get access to four hours of videos to watch (before the first training day begins)
- Day 1 – welcome to BirthWorks, meet the Bergmans, relaxed introductions, Q&A on videos, course intro, brief lecture on “Embodiment of the Science” of the Kangaroula by Dr. Nils Bergman, other small interactive lectures and discussions
- After the first day, your homework is watching an additional two-hour video
- Days 2 and 3 – interactive lectures (including graphics, photos and short videos) with open discussions, input on theory from Dr. Nils Bergman, then moving into focused, practical training and demonstrations with Jill Bergman so you at home learn (e.g., how to wrap the Kanga-Carrier shirt) to build your confidence and your skills for future client work
- Day 4 – final short interactive lectures, engaging discussions, more demonstrations and wrap up of training, plus explanations on next steps (administrative process to officially certify, future mentoring plans, bringing Dr. Bergman to your hospital for a grand rounds, or starting a Kangaroula program in your hospital)
- Engaging, direct, in-person learning with intelligent, inspiring and exceptionally knowledgeable Jill Bergman and Dr. Nils Bergman – their theoretical and practical work, based on decades of experience working in varied developing and developed countries, with hundreds of parents and babies, as well as their newly published research is changing baby-care practices today
- Access to an initial four hours of online videos from October 2020 Breastfeeding Task Force of Greater Los Angeles, and two more hours of videos (all are available after the workshop as well)
- Access to a fantastic database of key academic journal articles, including ongoing updates with new research (always available to you later too)
- Many of the Bergman’s lecture slides with varied images, photos and video clips
- A copy of Jill Bergman’s book Hold Your Prem (also published in some countries as Hold Your Premie) – a workbook summarizing all best practices of the Kangaroula, which you can always refer to and have available to use with the parents you work with
- The connection to Dr. Nils Bergman if you have any future questions about theoretical research to support Kangaroula practices and to Jill Bergman for any questions about practical application of techniques
- Status as a Registered Kangaroula with internationally-recognized NINO (Nueroscience for Improved Neonatal Outcomes) Academy, the Bergman’s certification organization
- Personal Kangaroula listing on BirthWorks International professional online directory
- The opportunity for ongoing one-on-one or small group mentoring with Jill, if you decide to continue training to become a Certified Kangaroula
- Registered Kangaroulas are trained to advocate for full-term infants (37 weeks and older) and also have been introduced to prem/premie care. This training and credential provides essential basic information for birthworkers, allowing you to provide practical and emotional support, during labor and the first 1000 minutes of life, for improved neonatal outcomes.
- Certified Kangaroulas take a more in-depth path — including application of advanced techniques to client cases, as well as reflection on births through personal guidance from Jill Bergman. This mentoring along with a second training – Kangaroula Advanced Workshop gives a depth of knowledge to bring to more effective facilitation of Kangaroula practices for premature babies (born before 37 weeks) who are not fully developed, so often have more health challenges and extended hospital stays.
We have known that 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 40% 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.”
The science now shows that the goal 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:
- Link to original published article, Immediate Skin-to-Skin Contact After Birth Improves Survival of Pre-term Babies, New England Journal of Medicine, 27 May 2021
- Press release (with concise summary) of the research findings: https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/482580
- PDF version of original article (to download or print easily): https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa2026486?articleTools=true
In addition to Kangaroula training, BirthWorks certifies Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator and Postpartum Doula. After you are certified, you can Mentor others. Also, you can become an Ambassador helping host local events or market workshops and earn a percent of the income! Some of our birth professionals become BirthWorks Trainers and others join our Board of Directors – Be Involved