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In Touch with Experts: LIVE is hosting three sessions in May, 2022

In Touch with Experts: LIVE is hosting three sessions in May, 2022

“In Touch With Experts, LIVE" is a Q&A session with our guest expert via zoom.  It is an initiative by Kangaroo Care Day that brings evidence-based topics in plain English to families of hospitalized and well- babies, and the clinicians that care for them.  

(and receive the recording for the three sessions) 

In May, we are very proud of hosting three exceptional international guest experts as we prepare to celebrate Kangaroo Care Day (May 15):
  • Dr. Livio Provenzi (Ph.D. psychologist and a researcher in developmental psychobiology joining us from Italy): Does the family's NICU experience matter? Epigenetics: what it is, why we must care. (Friday May 13th, at 11 am CST).
  • Dr. Agnes Linnér (Neonatologist joining us from Sweden): KMC in the NICU with ongoing intensive care and started immediately after birth. (Wednesday May 18th, at 11 am CST).

  • Dorothy Vittner, Ph.D., RN, FAAN (Joining us from the USA): Understanding the neurobiological influences of skin to skin contact (Wednesday May 25th at 11 am CST)
  • Parents or family members of hospitalized babies and small children. 
  • Parents of well babies or babies under medical care at home.
  • Clinicians interested in the developmental outcomes of the patients and families. CEUs are not provided.
  • Anyone interested in this topic.



    (May 13th, at 11 am CST - click for your local time)

    Livio Provenzi is a Ph.D. psychologist and a researcher in developmental psychobiology. His research projects integrate methodologies from infant research, neuroendocrinology, and behavioral epigenetics to understand how the early caregiving environment associates with cognitive, social, and emotional development in healthy and at-risk infants. 

    About this session: 

    Why does experience matter? Epigenetics: what it is, why we must care.

    It is generally recognized that our early experiences are significant in shaping future developmental outcomes. Nowadays, advances in developmental psychobiology provide us with specific mechanisms - known as "epigenetics" - which may explain how early experiences get under the skin of developing infants and children.

    In human infants, early experiences are mainly interactions with the caregivers. Therefore, parents play a vital role in the growth and development of human infants. In preterm infants, some of these early experiences can be altered by

    (1) the exposure to a partial restriction of contact with the parents, and,

    (2) the exposure to stressful and painful stimuli during the NICU stay.

    I will review recent research that applied the epigenetics lens to the study of preterm infants' experiences in the NICU. I will discuss the implications of this research field with the participants for the quality of care during the NICU stay and after discharge.


    Agnes_Linner.png (May 18th, at 11 am CST - click for your local time).

    Agnes Linnér is a neonatologist at Karolinska University Hospital and a doctoral student at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Her research interest is global neonatology and, more specifically, the potential of early skin-to-skin contact or Kangaroo Mother Care. In June 2022, she will defend her thesis entitled "Immediate skin-to-skin contact for very preterm infants, from newborn physiology to mortality reduction."


     (Wednesday May 25th at 11 am CST - click for your local time)

    Dorothy Vittner, PhD, RN, FAAN is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of NIDCAP and a dedicated leader with over 30 years of experience in Perinatal/Neonatal nursing, including more than 20 years of research experience focusing on the care of high-risk infants and their families. Dorothy’s professional responsibilities have focused on infant neurobehavioral functioning and training multidisciplinary health care professionals on infant behavior and development to improve outcomes for hospitalized infants. Dorothy currently holds a position as an Assistant Professor at Fairfield University, Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. Her research focuses on examining bio-behavioral mechanisms, specifically the role of oxytocin and cortisol in modulating premature infants’ behavioral, autonomic, and stress responses by utilizing individualized developmental care strategies to understand better and support parent engagement.


    (and receive the recording for the three sessions) 
    Presented by Kangaroo Care Day
    "In touch with experts: LIVE" Educational series
    in collaboration with



    The International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day is an initiative founded by Yamile Jackson, Ph.D., PE, PMP, on behalf of her son, Zachary, (and on his birthday) to improve the care of families through nurturing touch, kangaroo care, mental health, trauma-informed care, and education.  It is now celebrated in hospitals globally on May 15th since 2011. Visit

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