Simple, inexpensive, life-saving technique: Kangaroo Mother Care is the technique of wrapping newborn babies to the bare chest. Skin-to-skin contact promotes easy access to heat, breastfeeding, and love, all key to the growth and development of low birth-weight babies.
Stunningly small: A newborn lies on his mother's chest. Low birthweight babies often weigh less than two pounds - about five pounds lighter than the average for healthy babies in high-income countries.
Low birthweight babies face higher risks: A low birthweight baby weighing less than two pounds hangs on to life at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. Low birth weight ia a key factor in the nearly 3.8 million neonatal deaths that occur each year. Low birthweight infants are at particularly high risk for hypothermia, which contributes to many deaths.
Why is Kangaroo Mother Care needed? Three newborn babies share an incubator. Newborns need to be kept warm and feed frequently, and to bond with the mother. However, traditional ways of caring for newborns in many hospitals make this impossible.
With success, growth of a program: Jennifer Chidiwa, 23, practices Kangaroo Mother Care with her son. Since its inception in 2002, the Kangaroo Mother Care program has been expanded to 12 hospitals and five health clinics in Malawi.
Couple commits to continuing education: Three new mothers practice Kangaroo Mother Care at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. Mothers are encouraged to practice Kangaroo Mother Care for as much of the day as possible, even continuously, 24 hours a day. After the initial phase, mothers are encouraged to resume light activity with their babies wrapped to their bare chests.
Low birthweight babies face higher risks: Esther Magness lives over 60 miles away from the hospital. She is practicing Kangaroo Mother Care and will remain here until her baby is at a healthy weight. In 2003, the World Health Organization formally recognized Kangaroo Mother Care as an effective treatment.
The simplest solution
Kangaroo Mother Care is saving the lives of premature babies
Share the proof:
Every year in developing countries, almost one million pre-term babies die in their first month of life.
Premature babies anywhere are highly susceptible to infection and need extra care to survive. But in the developed world, we have readily available incubators help ensure that premature babies have a good chance at living a normal, healthy life. In developing countries this is often not the case: incubators are few and far between and many clinics lack the technology required to run them even if they had improved access to them.
Fortunately, there are alternative solutions which are far less costly. Kangaroo Mother Care teaches mothers to strap their newborns to their chest, creating a human incubator. This simple method requires only a piece of cloth, and is saving lives in many countries across Africa