The Essential Guide to Kangaroo Mother Care for Premature Newborns: Benefits, Techniques, and Timing

2023-06-07 17:00:00


  • The “kangaroo mother” care is an effective method for the survival of premature newborns.
  • This “skin-to-skin” method must be practiced within 24 hours of birth and for at least eight hours a day to be most effective, according to the researchers.
  • It brings benefits on the neurodevelopment of all infants in the long term.

It is a simple treatment method that can save lives: the “kangaroo mother care(SMK) methods that involve carrying the infant, usually by the mother, in a sling with skin-to-skin contact, reduce the risk of death in infants born prematurely or with low birth weight, according to Indian researchers.

Their study was published in BMJ Journals.

Skin to skin: a proven technique for the health of infants

The World Health Organization already recommends it as the standard of care for low birth weight infants after clinical stabilization. But the researchers wanted to know the ideal moment to begin the intervention.

They therefore reviewed many large randomized trials on the subject, conducted in several countries and in communities on a total of 15,559 infants. Of these trials, 27 studies compared the KMC method to conventional care, while four compared early versus late initiation of the SMK method.

Analysis of the results showed that, compared to conventional care, KMS appeared to reduce the risk of death by 32% during hospitalization at birth or within 28 days of birth, while reducing the risk of infection serious, such as sepsis, by 15%.

Kangaroo maternal care: start as soon as possible

In addition, starting the procedure within 24 hours of birth and performing it for at least eight hours a day appears to make the approach even more effective in reducing mortality and infections.

Our results support the practice of KMS for preterm and low birth weight infants as soon as possible after birth and for at least eight hours a day.”, concluded the authors.

A previous study had demonstrated that this method was also beneficial to the brain development of all infants and not only of premature babies. Indeed, the results showed that in babies who benefited from the kangaroo care, the left frontal area of ​​the brain of infants (involved in cognitive and emotional regulation) was more stimulated.

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