The KangaREAD pilot program at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas – a take on “kangaroo care,” in which skin-to-skin, parent-child contact is encouraged – offers many calming benefits for NICU parents and babies. A NICU can be a roller coaster of triumph and sorrow, and setbacks and strides. That takes a toll on parents, says Dr. Mustafa Suterwala, a MEDNAX-affiliated neonatologist who has worked in the Baylor NICU for 16 years. “Parents in the NICU are overwhelmed emotionally,” Suterwala says. “They feel helpless. Their baby is so small and the nurses are doing everything. Reading allows the parents to do something, to talk to the baby.” And although studies have shown that speech is typically delayed in preemies, Suterwala says, “research proves hearing the mother’s voice has a snowball effect. The babies speak better, understand better and have higher graduation rates.”

View the full article at Dallas News

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