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Watching Discovery channel is one of my favorite pastimes. So many animals with different eating, mating, parenting habits always augment my horizons. The other day it was kangaroos on the channel. The large marsupial carries its baby from a size of a jelly bean to a grown up joey in its pouch, closer to its skin foe a period of about 8-10 months. Quite fascinating!
Interestingly, the human counterparts may not carry the baby in a pouch but sure can give ‘kangaroo care’ to their babies. Confused? Well, it is known science now. Let’s find out how!
Kangaroo mother care(KMC), also called as skin to skin care, is holding a baby born pre-term, against the mother’s bare chest. It is a powerful technique to promote health and mortality in low birth weight babies. It allows continues skin contact with the mother and breastfeeding time to time.
The setup to provide such a care is minimal too. The mother has to be well seated and the baby dressed in a diaper and cap only. The baby is then wrapped in holder which is placed around mother’s chest in such a way that the mother’s bare chest and the baby’s skin are in contact. Else, the newborn is placed between mother’s breast in an upright position, head turned to one side slightly extended, hips and arms fixed. It is secured with a binder. This allows the baby to breathe and provides easy view to the mother.
The duration of each such session should last as long but not less than 1 hour at a time. KMC should be practiced till the baby reaches around 40 weeks of gestation or weigh about 2500grams. It should be monitored for warmth and breathing. Breastfeeding is done in the position. As per the data, the weight gain for breastfed infants should be around 15grams/kg/day.
Benefits of KMC to babies include:
Benefits of KMC to a mom include:
It is a very useful technique for baby weighing less than 2000g at birth and recommended by the World Health Organization(WHO).
Kangaroo up, mommies!