My post has a funny title today because it is about fathers and the importance of doing skin to skin contact with their newborns. A very common myth among new parents and sometimes grandparents is that it is not the same when a father provides kangaroo care to his newborn infant. Then there are fathers who are willing to completely submerge themselves in the care of their child and I admire and respect them very much. Kangaroo care or skin to skin contact can be done by dads too. One question I got asked was what if the father has a hairy chest (hence the feathers in the title), the baby does not have a preference when it comes to kangaroo care. The choice between going in an incubator versus being on dad’s warm (and in some cases fuzzy) chest is easy. Fathers cannot give birth, but they can provide the same safety and comfort to their newborns by doing kangaroo father care. Research has shown infants who are put on their father’s chest skin to skin are able to regulate their temperature, heart rate and breathing very well.
Fathers have been shown to have a stronger bond with their infants by practicing skin to skin contact. Mothers who have given birth by C-section undergo a surgical procedure and take some time to recover from it. That is the time when a new baby should be on the father’s bare chest until the mother is ready to take charge. Fathers can also help by being the guardians and keeping watch on the mother and infant when the mother is providing kangaroo care but still recovering from the birth and is exhausted. The continuity of kangaroo care is of utmost importance not only for premature infants, but for any full term infant.
Here is just one story of a father and kangaroo care
A disclaimer: This post is NOT meant to suggest that incubators are hazardous. There is a place for incubators in special cases.