'Kangaroo mothering' boosts mental, physical health in babies
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULDec 14, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Dec 14, 2016 12:00 am
Skin-to-skin contact with the mother is essential for newborns and a new study says "kangaroo mothering," a recommended nurturing technique in which infants are breastfed and kept warm through extensive skin-to-skin contact, improves the health and behavioral nature of babies.
Taking its name from the way that kangaroos carry their babies in a pouch on their bodies, this technique is highly influential for preterm infants. For this technique, infants are being carried, usually by the mother, with skin-to-skin contact. The study shows that kangaroo mothering helps premature children have better development. The study began when a group of parents in Columbia were shown the method for caring for their tiny, premature babies. The results have been published in the journal, Pediatrics.
"This study indicates that Kangaroo Mother Care has significant, long-lasting social and behavioral protective effects 20 years after the intervention," says lead researcher Dr. Nathalie Charpak of Kangaroo Foundation in Bogota, according to Science Daily. The practice allows babies of a low birth weight to have a better chance of development. Family solidarity around the frail child is a key element in the success of the Kangaroo Mother Care technique.
About 15 million premature infants are born each year, according to the World Health Organization. Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death among children aged under 5, responsible for nearly 1 million deaths in 2015. Many survivors face a lifetime of disability, including learning disabilities and visual and hearing problems.