THE BRONX - Clinicians are promoting awareness for both mothers and fathers to practice a technique that helps continue the bond lost when a woman delivers a premature baby, which is modeled after the way a kangaroo carries its young.

The month of May marks renewed emphasis on educating new parents about the technique as part of Kangaroo Care Awareness Month.

Developed in Colombia in the 1980s, Kangaroo Care involves placing a premature baby in an upright position, snuggling against a parent's bare chest. Doctors say the technique has both emotional and psychological benefits by continuing the bond lost when a baby must be removed from the womb earlier than anticipated.

Studies also show that Kangaroo Care can assist in improving breast milk production, increasing babies' heart rates and helping their brains grow.

Clinicians recommend Kangaroo Care for at least one hour a day four or more times a week.