Emma delivered her first child, Victor, more than two months early. She was 38 years old. When Emma came to Kenyatta National Hospital, they learned about Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC). Emma and her husband decided the KMC experience as the best possible chance for their son, Victor, to start life as a healthy baby.
For a baby born too soon or too small, KMC can make all the difference. KMC improves the survival rate of at-risk newborns by protecting them from infection; regulating their body temperature, breathing and brain activity; and encouraging mother-baby bonding. The principles of continuous KMC involve skin-to-skin contact between mother and infant for nearly 24 hours a day.
Victor was placed in a frog-like position on Emma’s chest, which was comfortable and allowed easy access to the breast for feeding. During her time in the KMC unit, Emma enjoyed the warmth and quiet. She was glad for the company of the other KMC moms, and the nurses who helped with breastfeeding and baby care questions. KMC moms and babies are monitored regularly, and infection control measures are in place to keep germs at bay.
Through KMC training sessions for midwives and other medical staff at seven hospitals in Nairobi, the Government of Kenya with support from Save the Children is helping new mothers, like Emma, ensure their premature babies survive and thrive.
Credit: Comic Relief Red Nose Day 2016 Case Study
This blog is part of the HNN collection, Telling Your Story: transforming care for small and sick newborns. If you have a story to share about transforming care for small and sick newborns, send a 300-600-word blog about your experience or research to email@example.com