Kangaroo Mother Care – A Lifelong Blessing For Your Baby

    Kangaroo Care is very simple and a promising way to give unique benefits to your baby. And the best part is: Anyone can do it! Whether you are a mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, a nurse or a healthcare worker and want to learn the true potential of Kangaroo Care, this article is for you.

    Kangaroo Mother Care is holding the baby directly in skin-to-skin contact on the chest with no clothes in between. When mother gives Kangaroo Care, she can also give exclusive breastfeeding and ensure zero separation from the baby. Together with Kangaroo Care, exclusive breastfeeding gives a lifelong protection cover for the baby.

    benefits of kangaroo care

    Benefits of Kangaroo Care

    Protects the baby against infections

    • 58% less risk of hospital-acquired infections
    • 42% fewer infections in babies having a low birth weight
    • 63% lesser risk of pneumonia in the first 6 months

    Decreases the risk of death

    • In babies admitted to hospital by 40%
    • In babies at home, by 33%

    Baby grows better

    Babies receiving kangaroo care gain better weight, length and head growth.

    Better brain development

    Babies receiving kangaroo care have extra 3.7 IQ points.
    These babies are less hyperactive, less aggressive and have a better school attendance.
    Babies receiving kangaroo care during a painful medical procedure feel less pain – this helps in better brain development.

    Better breastfeeding

    Mothers giving kangaroo care can exclusively breastfeed longer with fewer lactation problems.

    Temperature maintenance

    Kangaroo care decreases the risk of hypothermia (your baby getting too cold) by 78%.
    That’s why doctors use it to treat hypothermia.
    Decreases the risk of hyperthermia (your baby getting too hot) by 23%.

    Bonding with the baby

    Mothers feel more love, competency and satisfaction.
    Baby is more responsive to mother and less cranky.
    These families have better caring environment for the baby.

    How to give Kangaroo Care

    1. Getting ready

      Wash your hands with soap and water.
      Find a peaceful private area where you can hold your baby at your chest for many hours.
      Get a reclining chair. You can also get in reclining position on your bed by adding pillows underneath.
      You need a cloth to cover yourself and the baby during kangaroo care – a front open gown or a cotton sheet.
      If you are going to give kangaroo care in hospital, wear a top which could be completely opened from the front and remove bra.

    2. Prepare the baby

      Check your baby’s nappy and change if soiled.
      Remove all clothes of your baby except cap, mittens, socks and nappy.
      If temperature of your room is less than 25 °C (it shouldn’t be!), dress your baby with a front open ‘jhabla’ frock and open it from front.

    3. Kangaroo care in hospital

      Hospital staff will provide you with a front open gown to facilitate kangaroo care.
      Get comfortable on reclining chair or bed.
      Nurse taking care of your baby will gently lift up and place the baby over your chest between your breasts.
      Support the baby by keeping one of your hand beneath baby’s buttocks and another hand over the neck.
      Keep baby’s neck in slightly extended position and turned aside.
      Wrap the baby in your gown – make sure you can see the face of your baby.

    4. Kangaroo care at home

      Remove your top.
      Gently lift and snug your baby in between your breasts.
      Get comfortable on reclining chair or bed.
      Support the baby by keeping one of your hand beneath baby’s buttocks and another hand over the neck.
      Keep baby’s neck turned aside and in slightly extended position.
      Wrap yourself and the baby together with a cotton sheet – make sure you can see the face of your baby.

    5. Skin-to-skin contact

      Support the neck of your baby with one hand. Keep baby’s neck turned aside and slightly extended. This helps baby breathe easily. Keep an eye on baby’s face.
      There should be no cloth between you and baby.
      Fold your baby’s hips and support baby’s weight with one hand beneath the buttocks.
      Babies tend to slip down – reposition your baby back to original position with neck slightly extended.
      Talk to your baby or sing a song – yes! Your baby is listening even if asleep.
      You can breastfeed easily in kangaroo position. Hold your baby’s mouth close to nipple when the baby starts seeking breast.

    baby position during kangaroo care
    Baby’s position during Kangaroo Care
    kangaroo care myths vs facts

    You will gradually get familiar with kangaroo care when you start doing it. Your baby loves spending time with you, and so will you. Don’t forget to let your baby receive the blessings of all family members through kangaroo care – it’s their turn when you sleep or want a break.
    If you have any questions about kangaroo care, post them in the comment section below or contact us. Wishing you a happy and safe motherhood.

    Watch this video made by doctors of RML hospital beautifully explaining Kangaroo Care

    Learn more about health benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby

    Learn how to attach your baby for breastfeeding

    Further Reading.

    1. KMC – a Practical Guide (WHO)
    2. KMC to reduce Morbidity and Mortality in Low Birth Weight Infants
    3. Give Intermittent KMC if Continuous KMC is not possible (WHO)
    4. KMC: A method for protecting high-risk low-birth-weight and premature infants against developmental delay
    5. The long-term effects of the KMC intervention on cognitive functioning
    6. Twenty-year Follow-up of KMC Versus Traditional Care
    7. KMC and Neonatal Outcomes

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