What is Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC)?
Kangaroo Mother Care is a way to give warmth to babies who are born too soon by skin to skin contact mother. It has other advantages like better feeding, emotional bonding and better long term neurological outcome. It can be given by father or any other member of family as well.
Preterm babies have very little fat and hence are more prone to cold stress and hypothermia. Skin to skin contact keeps baby warm and help all the other body functions to go on smoothly.
Technically it is defined as procedure in which baby is held on to chest of an adult (mostly mother) with skin to skin contact for long duration of time.
KMC is given to whom?
- Best suited to babies who are preterm
- Full term babies with birth weight less than 2 kg.
- Babies should not be suffering from other serious health issues (heart rate and breathing is normal).
How to give KMC? Proper technique
- Baby is placed on mother’s chest between breast with babies chest facing mother’s.
- Given day and night.
- Held in place by cloth that is wrapped and yied at back as depicted in photographs.
- Kangaroo Mother Care could save an estimated 450 000 preterm newborns a year.
Benefits of KMC?
- Frequent breastfeeding
- Emotional support
- Protection from Infection
- Love and bonding
Kangaroo Mother Care can be given by any family member. It is very precious gift for parents who are not financially well to do. And in very poor parents it could be the only hope of survival.
Dr Rahul Varma