Kangaroo care gives low-birth-weight babies an edge

Kangaroo Care

Increasing the skin-to-skin contact between mother and infant improves survival rates for low-birth-weight babies, according to research published recently by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Kangaroo care involves early, continuous and prolonged skin-to-skin contact between newborn and mother, which is believed to help regulate the infant’s temperature and breathing rate.

Kangaroo care also increased the likelihood of exclusive breastfeeding at hospital discharge by 50 percent, which the study’s authors say provides additional protective health benefits for infants.

As many as four million babies worldwide die each year during their first month of life. Infants born early or at a low birth weight are particularly at risk.

While kangaroo or skin-to-skin infant care is especially useful for low-birth-weight babies born where medical equipment such as incubators are scarce, researchers concluded the practice is beneficial for all newborns and mothers.

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