Orgin: Daily News & Analysis
Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is a new concept being practised in some city hospitals. The practice ensures mother’s touch, breastfeeding and bonding for the baby through direct skin-to-skin contact.
KMC seeks to provide closeness of the newborn with mother by placing the infant in direct skin-to-skin contact with her. This ensures physiological and psychological warmth and bonding.
“It is a powerful, easy-to-use method to promote the health and well-being of infants born pre-term as well as full-term. Its features include early, continuous and prolonged skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the baby and exclusive breastfeeding,” said Dr Adarsh Somashekhar,director and CEO, Neonatal Care and Research Institute.
It is a gentle, effective method that avoids the agitation routinely experienced in a busy ward with pre-term infants.
Dr Kamini Rao, director, Bangalore Assisted Conception Centre (BACC) said: “The most common cause for pre-term deliveries is lower genital tract infections in the pregnant mother. Women who conceive in their 30s and 40s have morbidities like diabetes, obesity and hypertension which may contribute to iatrogenic pre-terms—a condition where a pregnancy is terminated by the doctor to salvage the foetus when there is a hostile intrauterine environment or to save the mother.”
Infections in the mother also get worsened by diabetes, leading to an increase in the pre-term deliveries, she said. If an eight-week premature baby is born, it needs to be in an incubator for two months. However, KMC helps the baby mature faster and he/she can be discharged at least two weeks earlier than the scheduled time.
“KMC results in increased breastfeeding rates as well as increased duration of breastfeeding. Prolonged skin-to-skin contact between the mother and her infant provides effective thermal control with a reduced risk of hypothermia,” said Dr Somashekhar.
Babies receiving KMC have more regular breathing and fewer predispositions to apnoea. Moreover, mothers are less stressed during KMC compared with those whose babies are kept in the incubator.