8.5 Kangaroo Mother Care
Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), called after the way that kangaroos look after their young, has been shown to be an extremely effective method of caring for preterm and low birth weight babies. It involves holding a newborn in skin-to-skin contact, day and night, prone and upright on the chest of the mother, or another responsible person if the mother is unable to do it all the time.
Evidence from using KMC to support preterm and low birth weight babies shows that it results in greater stability of the baby’s heart rate and breathing, lower rates of infection and better weight gain. In the mother it results in increased breast milk supply, and she is more likely to succeed in exclusive breastfeeding.