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KANGAROO MOTHER CARE Introduction

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Numerous studies over more than two decades have shown that what is now known as Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), is best for both full-term and premature babies in every way. When separated from their mothers, babies' vital signs show that they are in distress (breathing, heart rate, temperature, hormones, etc. become irregular), but when reunited with their mothers, babies' vital signs normalise, and they begin to thrive.

Healthy Babies All "healthy" newborns (including premature babies above 2.5lbs) should be place skin-to-skin on the mother's naked chest and kept there permanently, or as much as is possible, immediately after birth. Pediatric examinations or resuscitation can be done on the mother's chest if needed. Mother and baby can be

On discharge from the hospital. Mom should be able to touch her baby at all times. or other carrier where the mother wraps her baby on her chest. Breastfeeding should be initiated within the first hour of life if the baby is mature enough to be able to suck. Using his sense of smell and the grasp reflex (along with "head bobbing") the baby will self -attach to the breast. the mother should be encouraged to wear her baby. At night the baby should sleep within an arm's reach of his mother. In this environment. either on a safe bed sleeping surface. If medical assistance is needed. and a knitted cap on the baby's head will prevent heat loss through the head. (Drugged and premature babies may need assistance). newborns make high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone that can cause brain damage) but when returned to their mother's chest. If removed from their mothers. it is best to place them on their mother's chest. a baby is also reassured by the sound of his mother's breathing. heartbeat. Babies can be tube fed. and is more likely to get the correct latch-on position. and babies' vital signs stabilise better in their natural habitat (skin -to-skin with their mother) than if they are placed in incubators or heated cots. or in a side-crib attached to the mother's bed. their hormones normalise. skin-to-skin in a kangaroo carrier.Breastfeeding should continue on cue. touch and smell. and baby's vitals will be regulated by being close to his mother. with the baby's head between her breasts. it can be given on the mother's chest. on IV drips and on ventilators while on the mother's chest. . full term babies. throughout the day. than if baby were held and assisted in finding the breast. and should continue on cue nursing from then on.covered by a warm blanket if the room is cold. In the case of undrugged.

believed to be dead. they should be placed together in the same incubator. Twin babies who can feel each other's presence physically survive better than if they are separated. There are numerous documented cases of these babies "miraculously reviving" from the warmth of their mother's body and the reassuring sound of her heartbeat. a baby's stress hormones decrease and vitals regulate. and be reassured by his presence. In the case of very ill babies. with her hand in the incubator. or the milk of another mother. touching and talking to the baby as much as possible. Babies born with conditions that are incompatible with life. and the sicker a newborn is. If the mother is ill as well and unable to be with her baby. Very tiny babies. they may need incubator care. should also be placed skin -to-skin on the mother. touching her baby. If the baby is in an incubator. reassuring her baby of her presence. but if this is necessary. Having held her dying baby will also help the mother to grieve and let go. Babies tube fed in the NICU should receive their mother's pumped milk. should be kept on their mother's chest so that they are not distressed during their short lives. And exclusive diet of human milk benefits premature babies. or ill babies. .Ill Babies In the case of very tiny. the father should be with the baby. and the mother can sit in a comfortable reclining chair in the NICU nursery to do so. The baby will recognise his father's voice. they should still be held skin-to-skin on their mother's chest for as many hours per day as is possible. the mother should be encouraged to be with her baby as much as possible. Through touch and the sound of her voice. If very tiny premature twins are born needing incubator care. her baby should be wrapped skin-to-skin on the father's chest. Normal Kangaroo Mother Care should be instituted as soon as possible. the more desperately he needs this healing gold.

The process of holding a baby on one's chest. . in several ways.  KMC babies stabilize faster with skin-to-skin care than in an incubator (very few newborns stabilize well within an incubator during the first fragile hours of life).  A KMC baby's heart rate is stable (mother's heartbeat regulates baby's heartbeat). and especially NICU babies. it is a practice that all mammals participate in naturally (watch a cat with her new kittens or dog with her newborn puppies). skin-to-skin. is referred to as Kangaroo Mother Care.  KMC babies have stable oxygen rates and breathing thanks to the steady regulation of mother's respiration. However. Kangaroo Mother Care benefits all human babies as well.Kangaroo Mother Care is summed up well with this simple lesson: Never separate a mother and her newborn unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

We lose far fewer babies to prematurity.in skin-to-skin care mother's chest automatically warms to warm a cold baby. A baby's temperature is most stable on his mother . . or Kangaroo Care. and SIDS all with the natural help of skin-to-skin holding.  Sleeping within an arm's reach of baby (as long as a parent does not smoke) also regulates all of his physiological needs in the same way ~ they are kept steady thanks to Mom's warm. irregularity of breathing or heartbeat after birth. even-paced body. while her core temperature drops if baby is too warm and needs to be cooled.

KANGAROO MOTHER CARE .