Saturday, June 21, 2014

Skin to Skin Therapy

One of the best therapies for premies in the NICU is skin to skin therapy or "kangaroo care."  They literally open up the front of your shirt and drop your little one down in so that their bare skin is resting right on yours.  Then they put a blanket over top not only for privacy, but more importantly to keep baby's body temperature from dropping.  Cute hats are optional, but highly encouraged.  The one I chose for Ellie came from a small pile that have been donated to our NICU.  

Cute, isn't she!?!

Honestly I think that "kangaroo care" is just as therapeutic to parents as it is for the premies.  While she is growing in the NICU she can't be home with us right now. We can't feed her yet.  We can't peak over into her cradle to check on her whenever we want to see her right now.  So when we can hold her so close we can feel her on us, it becomes the best feeling in the world. They also give you a mirror to hold up, or rest on the arm rest of the chair so that you can see their faces while you are holding them.  My dad told me the other day that he read a study that showed the same center of a women's brain that is excited when she eats chocolate...or even the same part of the brain that gets stimulated after taking heroine is the same part of a women's brain that is stimulated when she smells a baby.  Right now, our best way to bond with Ellie is through touch...although making funny jokes are seeing her smiling in return even with her eyes closed is a close second.

 Not all parents do skin to skin therapy, which, our nurse informed us tonight, is completely ok.  Wesley prefers holding her when she is swaddled nice and tight.  Cute hat still optional, but again highly encouraged.

Today, Ellie's feedings increased steadily by 2mLs every 12 hours. Tonight she is up to 10mLs!  She has also been breathing really well.  She is on room air but they are still using the nasal cannula to ensure that it reaches her lungs.  They began titrating the volume of air down today, going from 3L to 2L.  They are expecting to move her down to 1L tomorrow with the hope that if she is still doing well being able to take off the nasal cannula on Monday.  Our little Ellie is doing so well!  We are so proud at how strong she is and how she continues to improve each day.  Tomorrow we will give you a peak at our bedtime routine!

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