A preterm baby requires special attention, and it is normal to feel apprehensive about treating one for a first-time mum. Kangaroo Mother Care provides guidance aimed at leading mothers during the critical first few weeks of the life of a baby. Continue reading to know all about kangaroo mother care.
What is Kangaroo Mother Care?
Kangaroo Mother Care or KMC is a fast and simple activity to look after newborn children, especially preterm children. The approach includes contact with the mum, dad, or caregiver from the skin to the skin. It is a powerful tool to facilitate pre- and full-term babies’ wellbeing and overall well-being. In minimizing the child mortality rate of low birth weight or preterm babies, this approach is also helpful. Thus by supplying basic survival needs such as maternal comfort, breast milk, relaxation, and safety, KMC not only provides care but is claimed to have exceptional benefits for children.
When Is KMC Care Needed?
The care and protection of the unborn child is required for the Kangaroo Mother Care in order for the baby to cure and develop naturally. Kangaroo care for light weights and preterm or premature babies was initially practised. This technique is however helpful to all babies as it guarantees that the baby warms up, covered and breast milk. In the following situations, KMC should also be practised:
- Premature or low birth weight children in neonatal care
- For babies with little weight and full life
- For full-term babies or children who are for any medical reasons removed from their mothers
- Establishing breastfeeding and a healthy supply of milk.
Benefits of Kangaroo Mother Care?
Here are some of the benefits of Kangaroo Mother Care:
1. Promotes Healthy Weight Gain
KMC is encouraging the kid to gain weight. When the child feels warm, the child does not use his energy to stay warm. The warmth and protection of the mother allow the baby to suck better and hence help to gain weight.
2. Better Adaptation to the Environment
Premature babies are faced with the difficulty of thermal control. KMC allows the infant to come into contact with the mother in a skin-to-skin way that helps to control body temperature. Keeping in close touch with the mother makes it easier for the infant to transition to the unfamiliar world.
3. Helps the Mother to Fight Postpartum Depression
KMC is also helpful to women, as skin-to-skin contact with the baby causes the mother’s level of fear to go down. It further encourages commitment to her baby and decreases the chances of postpartum depression.
4. Reduces Baby’s Stress Levels
Close skin contact with the mother for a few minutes a day reduces the levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the baby. KMC also raises the oxytocin of the cuddle hormone, which makes the infant more comfortable.
5. Makes Breastfeeding Convenient
Kangaroo Mother Care encourages the infant to breastfeed exclusively when the baby is held next to the breast of the mother. Babies have an improved sense of smell, and they appear to suck immediately.
6. Aids Better Mental Development
KMC facilitates better sleep cycles, stabilised heart rate, and oxygenation, resulting in increased brain growth before adolescence. There is greater brain growth of children who have obtained KMC compared to infants who have been placed in incubators.
7. Helps in Bonding With the Father
In creating a relationship between father and infant, KMC is very beneficial. The father’s skin touch calms the baby and helps to bind easier.
8. Helps the Mother to Produce Milk
Close baby touch helps to balance the lactation hormone. This stimulates the development of milk in the body of your mother and encourages breastfeeding.
Essential Components of KMC
1. Kangaroo Nutrition
Kangaroo Nutrition provides exclusive breastfeeding for the infant. Direct skin-to-skin touch aids in the processing of breast milk, and also makes the baby suck it more because of quick access to the breasts of the mother. In certain cases, though the infant can be fed expressed breast milk. Direct interaction with the skin also serves to reinforce the relationship between the mother and the infant.
2. Support to the Mother and the Baby
Kangaroo care means delivering educational, physical or emotional support to the mother and child without separating them.
3. Skin-To-Skin Contact
The position of the kangaroo involves the infant coming into contact with the mother in skin to skin. The baby is positioned on the breast of the mother, between her breasts. The primary feature of KMC is early, sustained and constant interaction between the mother and her infant.
Procedure of Kangaroo Mother Care
The skin-to-skin kangaroo therapy procedure includes the following:
- The baby should be positioned in an upright posture between the breasts of the mother.
- To make breathing easier and eye contact with the mother, the baby’s head should be positioned sideways.
- The baby’s stomach should be positioned on the upper abdomen of the mother.
- The arms and legs of the infant should be folded.
- The baby’s bottom should be supported by a sling or binder.
For the overall growth and health of the child, Kangaroo Mother Care is very successful. It can begin soon after delivery and can also be practised comfortably in the home. The KMC will proceed as far as the mother is concerned and the child would be secure. When a mother attempts skin-to-skin touch and becomes awkward, the KMC may be prevented. Your physician will address any questions or suspicions regarding Kangaroo Mother Treatment. To know the right KMC treatment, it is advised that you seek competent medical assistance.
Also Read: Tips For Sharing A Room With Baby