Long-term academic research with practical application for optimal newborn care
Support for Term Babies
Mom & baby together means less stress, so optimal brain
and nervous system development
Knowledge of Prem Care
1-in-10 premies (born <37 weeks) can have their exceptional needs met
What is a Kangaroula?
Kangaroulas make nurture science happen!
Kangaroulas are the bridge between birth doula care and postpartum doula care.
They know mothers’ needs, and focus on babies’ primal needs. Kangaroulas advocate for the baby during birth as well as the first 1000 seconds, 1000 minutes & 1000 hours of life! During these times, babies’ experiences are wired into their brains, so significantly impact development. Ideal neurodevelopment and baby health is determined by immediate skin-to-skin and breastfeeding. Kangaroula care is key especially for premie babies, who have exceptional needs related to health issues and longer hospital stays.
Kangaroula Training teaches...
Kangaroula Training teaches...
- The key role you play in whether a baby experiences “nurture” or “protest and despair” at birth
- How brain wiring is place dependent – the critical moment of birth is when itallyiimportant brain cells and circuits are wired are fired
- Ways to help avoid Infant Brain Dysregulation and enhance social connection through life (to avoid the tendency for later social withdrawal)
- The powerful mother-baby connection and the two truths:
- Zero-Separation of mother-baby is our biology and that the baby should never be left alone
- Innate Fetal Agenda – how the mother precisely controls every element of how her infant’s development unfolds – including physiology, heart rate, hormones, appetite, temperature and intensity of activityv
Start your Kangaroula journey today!
Become a Registered Kangaroula to to advocate for full-term infants and support parents in caring for their babies after birth
Mentoring & Certification
Personal one-on-one guidance during client cases plus advanced training to become a Certified Kangaroula, and get an intro to prem care
Health & Medical Professionals Workshop
Bring Kangaroula care and nurture science to your birth center or hospital NICU, explore premature baby care
You can offer fantastic Kangaroula care, working with parents, to best support their babies’ health. Start Your Journey!
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...
Kangaroula training brings value...
- Advanced professional expertise and skills fill a gap where best practices for babies health are often lost. Kangaroulas advocate effectively, around key the times of birth and just afterward which highly impact babies’ early development, well-being and health through their lives.
- A newborn baby is not helpless, but a wide-awake human being with a brain adapting to life in the outside world. From their view, everything just changed: dark to light, peaceful to noisy, held tightly to a un-contained wide world, Breathing themselves, learning how to suckle and feed. You can help.
- There are more synapses in the brain of a newborn baby then stars in the universe – so every baby is born with the full potential of the universe within.
- Our Workshops are run by brilliant Trainers Jill and Dr. Nils Bergman, who have worked in the field for decades, traveled all over the world teaching nurture science, oversee huge WHO study on Kangaroula care, and will inspire you!
Kangaroulas are the voice of advocacy for babies - for primal health, nurturescience and neuroscience.
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!
- 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
- 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
- Take the Kangaroula Workshop (fee $425US early discount or $525US) and fulfill all requirements for Registered Kangaroula status – this is required first before pursuing a Certified Kangaroula credential.
- 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 (fee $200US) directly with Jill Bergman (or other Mentors) via email, WhatsApp and Zoom happens:
- If needed, after the workshop to answer questions to help you get started
- As you complete births, start to email forms in for review and discussion. (This is an iterative process where you attend a birth, get feedback, then apply what you learn to the next birth.) This will enhance your learning each birth and assure you know confidently how to apply all concepts well.
- Through your process, as other students are being mentored on a similar timeline, small groups may form together in part.
- After you support five (or more if requested) births and complete client forms, write a half-page summary of your experience
- Pay a one-time $30US NINO Academy fee and take the exam
- Receive your Certificate and official badge 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 NINO Birth (Kangaroula) and with BirthWorks as a member, to keep your status
- Registered Kangaroulas are trained to advocate for full-term infants (37 weeks and older). This training 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. You will understand the value of Kangaroula care and are empowered to confidently work with families – to best meet the biological and psychological needs of healthy babies just after birth – to optimize development and bonding. You will be introduced to the significance of Kangaroula care for premature babies.
- Certified Kangaroulas take a more in-depth path of experiential training about what full-term healthy babies expect after birth, and can confidently apply the very best practices to respond to their biological and psychological needs. You will practice applying advanced techniques to client cases, as well as do personal reflection on the births you attend through Mentoring. The mentoring gives a depth of knowledge to bring to more effective facilitation and full confidence in offering Kangaroula practices. You will also start to gain more understanding of the value of this work for premature babies (born before 37 weeks) who are not fully developed, so often have more health challenges and extended hospital stays.
- $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
- $30US Nino Birth one-time registration
Given the exceptional needs of premature babies, pressure on their new parents, and liability concerns, appropriate steps are very context-specific, to each person and the institutional context. Personally – start by completing the whole Kangaroula training process including the first workshop, attending births to apply what you learned, mentoring and the advanced workshop to get your Kangaroula Advanced Certification. From the institutional view – learn all about Kangaroula Health and Profesional Workshops which are designed around the needs of a specific institution.Generally, it is best we have a discussion about your personal training needs, credentials and medical status, as well the institution you work with (whether it is a specific hospital/NICU or different organization (e.g., a parent organization for premie care or birth center), so please reach us to discuss the best next steps.
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:
- 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