Science Behind Kangaroo Care - Skin To Skin Contact

The science behind the power of your touch:

Your touch is really powerful. After reviewing over 600 scientific papers on the effects of human touch on babies, the Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centers (CAPHC) concluded that the power of your touch is undeniable.
Science clearly supports that caregiver touch has a powerful effect on babies’ brains and bodies, optimizing healthy growth and development, both in the short and long term” (CAPHC)
The benefits are multiple: sleep, growth and weight gain, memory, problem solving, social skills....and so on. Science is learning quickly what your intuition has known all along! 
Learn more about this in our blog.

The science behind quiet sleep: 

Your touch provides the physical and emotional support needed for your baby to reach quiet sleep, that’s when the brain develops systems for life: from problem solving to social to athletic skills.
The National Sleep Foundation says that during quiet sleep “...important hormones are released for growth and development.” Some experts say that it is during that type of “... sleep that deeper section of the brain develops further, making deep connections within the brain.”
Babies cannot be "spoiled" or "held too much".  The Dual Nature of Early-Life Experience on Somatosensory Processing in the Human Infant Brain, which highlights the following:
  • Preterm infants’ first weeks can be in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs)
  • NICU treatments for improving neurodevelopmental outcomes rely heavily on touch
  • Prematurity and touch quality determine the extent of attenuated brain responses
  • Perinatal somatosensory experiences may scaffold later development

The science behind skin to skin:

Skin to skin is the type of touch that offers the most benefits to babies from birth to 3 months after due date.  Yamile Jackson and Barbara Weaver made a poster about the science:

Science behind skin to skin contact kangaroo care
The Zaky ZAK maximizes the area of surface the adult/baby touch; making magic happens! 
Practice it as frequently as possible for at least 60 min at a time- the length of a full baby sleep cycle. The Zaky ZAK is designed to be used 
12 weeks after your baby’s due date, she won't need as much of your warmth. She’ll have her own way of saying “mommy, daddy...let’s put some clothes on.” ;)

The science behind The Zaky products:

Mother instincts are real

The Zaky was born out of necessity by a PhD in engineering that gave birth prematurely to Zachary (Read our true story)  Yamile applied her newly found maternal instinct, her professional and educational experiences to combine them with science and engineering principles and best practices to research/develop each of the products with the input of every stakeholder.

After 3+ years of research and development for each product, she created the only system that provides tool that facilitate evidence-based neuroprotective and family-integrated care, around the clock, for every baby and child regardless of size, medical condition, or developmental stage.

  • The Zaky ZAK carefully designed for caregivers to provide skin-to-skin care to ANY baby that has green light to be held. Hospital staff trust it even with the most vulnerable babies because the simplicity of its design meet the most complex situations. There are several publications that use The Zaky ZAK as the tool for skin to skin contact.  Contact us for more info.
The Zaky ZAK from birth to home
    It is ergonomically designed to mimic your arm’s firmness, weight, touch, warmth, and scent to communicate to your baby that you are still there even if you are apart. Materials were selected to absorb your scent and stay warm to the touch.
      The filling is never gets hot under heating source so it will not burn the baby (only the fabric gets warm like a blanket).
      The Zaky HUG is simple, easy to use, and versatile and one universal size and weight allows individualized care.  When used as the standard:
      • it reduces errors as everyone uses the same - no decision needs to be made about what device and what size  to use with what baby depending on the size, medical condition, or developmental stage)
      • Effective supply chain:
        • Count inventory (count how many HUGs, all have the same universal size/weight)
        • Ordering (only select the color. Each package has one pair of The Zaky HUG and wash bag)
        • Storage (keep them by pairs in the ziplock provided, or one bin for left hands and one for right hands)
        • Training (its intuitive feature of simulating the hands make it more effective for training:  Use your hands then replace with The Zaky HUG.  There is no decision of size/weight, the training is streamlined and dedicated mostly on developmental care not what device to use depending on the position or the size of the baby. It was designed so that parents learn and provide neuroprotective and nurturing care for their babies.
        • Quality control - everyone using the same tools, and parents knowing how to use them makes everyone participant of quality control. 
      The Zaky HUG Is designed to virtually replace all developmental care devices on the bed for positioning, nesting, bonding, transitioning, soothing, and reduces the need for swaddling restraining movement. 
      Adults cannot sleep when our environment changes (pillow, blanket, mattress, etc), when we hear noises of velcro close to our ears, or when we are lifted when we need to roll over; yet, we expect babies to do sleep under these conditions when The Zaky HUG is not used. 
      An independent study funded by Georgia College entitled: "Neuroprotective Core Measure 2: Partnering with Families – Effects of a Weighted Maternally-Scented Parental Simulation Device on Premature Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care" concluded, among other benefits, that "Neuroprotective care using a weighted maternally-scented parental simulation device [The Zaky HUG] resulted in increased physiologic stability of premature and early term infants through the promotion of self-regulation seen by reduction of stressful behaviors, and decreased apnea, and bradycardia." This research, together with those about Kangaroo Care, sheds light to the possibility that babies can achieve quiet sleep on the bed/incubator and maybe apnea/bradycardia can be preventable.

      PUBLICATION: NONPHARMACOLOGIC PAIN MANAGEMENT:  A Cochrane Library Publication: "Effect of Facilitated Tucking Created with Simulated Hands [The Zaky HUG] on Physiological Pain Indicators during Venipuncture in Premature Infants" concluded that "According to the results of the current research, using the simulating glove [The Zaky HUG] to reduce pain during invasive and painful procedures is an effective and easy method for preterm newborns. Therefore, it is recommended that such simulation devices be applied in NICU for pain management, especially when parents of infants refuse to be present during painful procedures."

        • The Zaky ZEN Prepares your skin for the smoothest touch. Free of sulfates, toxic chemicals, fillers, parabens, dyes and synthetic fragrances. Unscented so your baby feels his favorite scent: yours. Or naturally scented so your baby develops memory structures with subtle scents. Regularly check our blog to learn more about babies sense of smell!