A preterm low birth weight (LBW) baby is comparable to a malnourished baby who is an easy prey to other mortality factors like asphyxia, hypothermia, infections, metabolic problems, hemorrhage, etc.
Timely establishment of breathing, keeping warm in hygienic way and initiation of feeding, preferably breast feeding are the essentials at birth. Although in an institutional setting it is not very difficult but the problem is with the vast majority being born in the rural homes. A simple methods called Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) which is basically skin to skin contact care with the mother's chest (or any other family member, if necessary) has been proved to improve the survival and benefit the preterm in various ways.
Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is a special way of caring for the preterm or Low birth weight infants where baby is kept in skin to skin contact with the mother and breastfed exclusively.
What is Kangaroo mother care (KMC):Early, prolonged and continuous skin-to-skin contact between a mother (or a family member) and her low birthweight infant, both in hospital and in home after early discharge, until at least the 40th week of post-natal gestational age, with ideally exclusive breastfeeding and proper follow-up.
KMC is a powerful and easy to use method to promote the health and well-being of
* Low birth weight (LBW) - infants with birth weight below 2000g
* Prematurenewborns -with gestational age less than 37 weeks
The Components of KMC
* Skin-to-skin on the mother's chest
* Secured with a wrap
* Exclusive breastfeeding or feeding with breastmilk
* Mother continues KMC practice at home after discharge
* Health care staff provide support to the mother to take care of her infant in the hospital
* Family support of mother in practicing KMC at home
Benefits of KMC
KMC is beneficial to babies, mothers and hospital. Several Studies evaluated the effect of KMC on:
* Temperature control
* Weight gain
* Duration of Hospital stay and Cost