Benefits of Kangaroo Mother Care that Can Help Your Newborn
Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC)
This is a method of care advocated by World Health Organization for all newborns. The name is derived from a practice observed in marsupials like kangaroo where the baby immediately after birth enters a pouch and stays there till it is sufficiently strong and big enough to fend for itself. In olden days this technique was used in places where there was lack of infrastructure or was not affordable for the preterms and low birth weight babies.
But so great were the advantages that the most developed countries of the world now recommend this technique for all newborn babies.
Baby is kept in direct skin to skin contact on mother’s, father’s naked chest. Mother can wear a front open gown. Baby is made to wear a front open sleeveless baby dress called Jhabala in local language. Baby’s head should be covered with a scarf or a cap. Baby is held upright between mother’s breasts with neck turned on one side. His hips are in frog position and hands are flexed. Mother can give kangaroo care in sitting or reclining or sleeping position. Any other relative can also offer this care to the baby.
- It Provides uniform and continuous warmth which is most vital for all low birth weight babies.
- It ensures early initiation of breast feeding and also encourages mother to continue exclusive breast feeding.
- It develops a long lasting bond between the baby and the mother or father whoever is giving the care. Babies recognize their mother’s smell, her voice and also the rhythm of her heart beats .All ofthese are very soothing and comforting to them.
- This helps in better weight gain and better feeding patterns in the babies.
- It prevents infections in babies and reduces the hospital stay thereby promotes early discharge.
Eligibility: All babies are eligible, even babies who are admitted in the intensive care unit can have kangaroo care once they are stable. Not only preterm and low birth weight babies but also full term babies benefit from KMC. So it should be done in all babies
Duration: KMC can be given for few hours a day up to 24 hours, longer the better. It can be continued for few weeks till baby gains good weight or till the baby remains comfortable in this position.
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