Statistics say that 64% newborns die within the first 28 days in Delhi. As years pass by, there’s been a marginal dip in the infant mortality. To curb the scenario, the government hospitals in the capital will now promote kangaroo mother care. In fact, 8 beds will be reserved for KMC performing mothers in 21 Delhi government hospitals that execute deliveries.
What is kangaroo mother care?
Kangaroo mother care or KMC is a practice where an infant who’s born prematurely is kept in skin-to-skin contact with the mother, just like a kangaroo does with her young one. This is done to maintain the body temperature of the baby. The baby’s front is rested at the middle of the mother’s chest. The skin-to-skin contact should be continuous and for longer times, but even shorter periods are helpful. Moreover, exclusive breastfeeding is highly encouraged during KMC.
Premature babies usually transferred to incubator in India
Generally in our country, premature babies or low birth weight infants that weigh less than 2,500 gm are kept in a warmer or incubator to prevent hypothermia (a condition where body temperature dips abnormally) and maintain the body temperature. But, the same can be achieved by maintaining skin contact between the infant and the mother, care-giver or even the father, throughout the day.
A trained health expert will teach and monitor KMC in new moms
What will happen in the Delhi government hospitals is that preterm or low birth weight babies will be shifted from the delivery room to the ward instead of being transferred to the Neonatal ICU. A trained professional will explain the new mothers the method of KMC to maintain the baby’s body temperature. The health professional will monitor the mother and child till the mother learns to take care of the baby and the child starts gaining weight. Once this happens, they will be discharged immediately.
Patient expenses will cut down, hospital-acquired infections will reduce
The idea of performing KMC in government hospitals will not only free many incubators or warmers but will also cut down hospital stay and patient expenses. In fact, the lesser time the mother and child spend in the hospital, the lesser will be the risk of getting hospital-acquired infections. The best outcome of this practice will probably be the promotion of breastfeeding, which is indispensable for the necessary development of the babies.
Benefits of kangaroo mother care
- Baby’s heart rate stabilizes
- Extensive breastfeeding
- Improved and regular breathing
- Baby sleeps soundly
- Quicker weight gain
- Bonding between mother and child grows
- Shorter stay at the hospital
- Cost-effective method.