I read an article in the Vancouver Sun today all about a practice used with premature and under weight infants – a practice called kangaroo care. Here is a little bit about kangaroo care:
“Kangaroo care (KC) is the practice of skin-to-skin contact between infant and parent. In developing countries, KC for low-birth weight infants has been shown to reduce mortality, severe illness, infection and length of hospital stay. Cardio respiratory and temperature stability, sleep organization and duration, modulation of pain responses appear to be improved for preterm infants who have received KC during their hospital stay.
No detrimental effects on physiological stability have been demonstrated. “
And another quotation:
“Kangaroo care is one way of involving both mothers and fathers in the care of their at-risk infant and helps to humanize the premature birth experience.”
So I thought if this sort of physical human contact truly supports the infant birth experience could we not use similar human touch intervention to humanize an otherwise medicalized, and lonely dying process? Answer – yes of course we can.
The photograph here shows a friend and client of mine lying with her dying grandmother in a loving ‘kangaroo care’ embrace as Granny was actively dying. What a loving way to pass. It was soothing for Granny and healing for Darlene!
Alive in Death training provides the important self-care practices and awareness that will enable those of us intending to make death more human to take great care of both those dying AND ourselves. Have a look see.
Warmly and with gratitude