When I started this volunteering gig at the shelter, I didn’t expect anything to be shoved down my top unless it was a hand connected to a very cute Aussie male. But, that never happened and once I got to the shelter, I quickly realized what was at stake and did my best to help out. This meant carrying joeys down my top at any given time for as long as necessary.
You see, these orphaned babies are used to the warmth and security of their mothers’ pouches. And despite all our efforts to manufacture something similar, we simply aren’t made that way. The next best thing is to snuggle them into a warm liner and shove them into your bra (I’ve found that sports bras are best). Nestled between your boobs, the babies are able to feel your warmth and hear the steady beat of your heart. It soothe them, especially when they first arrived and are suffering from shock.
I’ve been told by my nurse friend that this technique is also used on premature human babies. It’s called a kangaroo hug and helps to increase the infant’s body temperature more quickly than an incubator. Mothers (and nurses) carry the baby against them skin-to-skin and the heat transfers from mom to bub. It must be effective if it’s being used in modern medicine.
After the first few days of walking around with something wiggling in my top, I think I got over the awkwardness and self-consciousness of the situation. The pinkies, joeys so young they do not have fur yet, seemed to enjoy it and actually settled down when carried this way. It quickly became natural to walk around with a bulging top often carrying one or two babies in there.
It’s surprising how easily one adjusts to such unique circumstances. I know in any other situation I’d probably think this was weird (like I wouldn’t dream of carrying puppy around in my boobs), but somehow with wallabies it all makes perfect sense. Oh well, you live and learn I guess.