Have you ever wondered why kangaroos have their babies in the pouch always? It actually improves the overall health of the baby. The same thing can also benefit humans, revealed a new study.
The practice of having skin to skin care or Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) can do wonders for low birth weight and preterm babies. It also reduces their mortality rates. WHO has already recommended this technique for mothers in rural and less developed countries where access to incubators is very minimal.
‘Kangaroo mother care or continuous skin-to-skin contact can reduce mortality rates of low birth weight and preterm babies.’
Researchers from the Harvard school of Public Health have conducted a review on the effects of KMC on infants. They analyzed 124 studies published between 2000 and 2014 that looked at skin-to-skin contact as a part of KMC.
They found that there was a 36 percent reduction in mortality and 47 percent lower risk of sepsis or major infections among newborns weighing less than 4.4 pounds who were given KMC. The infants also had higher oxygen levels, better growth, lower pain measures, and were 50 percent more likely to exclusively breastfeed when discharged from the hospital.
"While KMC or skin-to-skin care is particularly useful for low birth weight babies born where medical resources are limited, developed and developing countries are moving to 'normalize' KMC or skin-to-skin as a beneficial practice for all newborns and mothers," said senior author Dr. Grace Chan, a professor at Harvard Chan School and Boston Children's Hospital.