Kangaroo Mother Care

What is kangaroo mother care (KMC) for your baby?

Kangaroo mother care (KMC) refers to care of preterm or low birth weight infants by placing the infants in skin to skin contact with the mother or any other caregiver. KMC has now become the standard of care either as an alternative to or an adjunct to technology based care.

KMC results in keeping neonates warm and cosy. Babies get protected against cold stress and hypothermia. The heart and respiratory rates, oxygenation, sleep patterns get stabilized.

It significantly increases milk production in mothers and exclusive breastfeeding rates. Improves weight gain, reduces incidence of respiratory tract and nosocomial infection, it improves emotional bonding between the infant and mother.

Baby KMC is indicated in all stable LBW babies. For sick babies, short KMC sessions can be initiated during recovery with ongoing medical treatment. It can be provided while baby is being fed via orogastric tube or on oxygen therapy or even on ventilator.

All mothers can provide KMC irrespective of age, parity, education, culture and religion. Mother should be free from serious illness. She should receive adequate diet and supplements recommended by her physician. The mother should maintain a good hygiene.

Kangaroo mother care Procedure

Kangaroo positioning procedure – Baby should be placed between the mothers breast in an upright position.

The head should be tuned to one side and in a slightly extended position. This position keeps the airway open and allows eye to eye contact between the mother and her baby. The baby’s hip should be flexed and abducted in a frog position, the arms also to be flexed.

The baby’s abdomen should be at the level of the mother’s epigastrium.

Mother’s breathing stimulates the baby, thus reducing the occurrence of apnoea.

Monitoring of kangaroo mother care

Babies receiving Kangaroo mother care (KMC) should be monitored carefully especially during the initial stages.

Nursing staff should make sure that babies neck position is either too flexed or too extended, airway is clear, breathing is regular, colour is pink and baby is maintaining temperature.

Duration for kangaroo mother care

When it comes to duration, skin to skin contact should start gradually in the nursery, with a smooth transition from conventional care to continuous kangaroo mother care (KMC). Sessions last less than one hour should be avoided because frequent handling may be stressful for the baby. The mother can sleep with the baby in Kangaroo mother care position in reclined or semi recumbent position about 30degrees from horizontal.

When to stop kangaroo mother care (KMC)

(KMC)  kangaroo mother care is continued till the baby finds it comfortable and cosy. KMC may be stopped once the baby attains a weight of 2.5kg or a gestation of 37 weeks.

A baby who, upon being put in KMC, tends to wriggle out, pulls limbs out or cries or fusses is no longer in need of KMC.

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