‘Baby on board’ with kangaroo care

Skin to skin care highly beneficial for babies and parents

Tuesday, August 15 2023

Together with dedicated mothers, fathers and healthcare professionals across South Africa, Netcare is highlighting the many benefits of kangaroo care for newborns, ranking among the top healthcare teams in a recently held global awareness event.

Kangaroo care mimics the close contact between a mother kangaroo and her baby carried in her pouch. It is highly beneficial in appropriate circumstances, particularly among premature or low birthweight babies, says Verena Bolton, a neonatal nurse and national coordinator of Netcare Ncelisa human milk banks.

Brandon Dornbrack kangaroos with his new baby at Netcare Kingsway Hospital.


At Netcare Olivedale Hospital, Shawn Mohan Rawjee cradles his baby to his chest.


Mamokete Mofubetswana snuggles with her little one at Netcare Kroon Hospital.


“Skin to skin contact is not only advised for mothers. Spending time close together in this way substantially contributes to parental bonding for fathers as well, enriching their experience through some very special snuggle time with their little one from the first days of life,” says Bolton.

Bolton explains that in addition to its emotional and bonding benefits, kangaroo care aids in the development of a normal skin microbiome for the baby, assists with better body temperature regulation and can result in improved cardiac and respiratory function for babies. Furthermore, it helps to establish successful breastfeeding, which is important for a healthy digestive tract and immune system.  

The results of the global Kangaroo-a-thon, which took place earlier this winter, see the Netcare Group placing among the top ten of 45 participating healthcare teams globally, alongside facilities in France, Costa Rica, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Newborn twins receive much love and skin to skin care from their mother, Lona Siyatandwa Mpintshi at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital.
Mauricio da Costa has some special one on one time at Netcare Pinehaven Hospital with his little bundle of joy.


“Mothers and fathers have a role to play as active members of the healthcare team safeguarding the wellbeing and development of their baby to ensure better overall neurodevelopmental outcomes. We strongly encourage a co-caring relationship between parents and healthcare professionals in Netcare NICUs, where babies are often undergoing intensive therapies and parents may have limited access.

“We wish to thank all the families, teams and doctors across our facilities who are so intrinsic to the family centred care that Netcare provides, and which enables connection and continuity from the hospital into the home through inclusive practices such as kangaroo care,” concludes Bolton.

Skin to skin care is actively encouraged in all Netcare maternity and neonatal units in support of the World Health Organization’s Mother Baby Friendly Initiative.


Notes to editor
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Issued by:   MNA on behalf of Netcare
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