Tiny babies can benefit greatly from Kangaroo Mother Care

Harold Mandel's picture
Mother and child

Researchers have found Kangaroo Mother Care helps premature babies thrive.

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It is a tremendous challenge to raise a child well. Research has shown a warm type of care called Kangaroo Mother Care greatly benefits the development of children.

There are positive benefits for kids raised with Kangaroo Mother Care which endure for 20 years

Grand Challenges Canada reports a new study which has been groundbreaking shows there are positive benefits for kids raised with Kangaroo Mother Care which endure for 20 years. These kids turn out to be more well behaved, they develop larger brains, and they generally end up with higher paychecks.

Colombian parents were instructed on how to keep their very tiny babies warm and well nourished via breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact on a continuous basis. This technique of raising kids known as Kangaroo Mother Care was found to be associated with benefits for the kids as long as two decades later.

Kids raised with Kangaroo Mother Care were less likely to display impulsive, aggressive, and hyperactive behavior

During the time of early adulthood the kids raised with Kangaroo Mother Care were less likely to display impulsive, aggressive, and hyperactive behavior in comparison to a control group of premature and low birth weight kids who were given traditional incubator care. The Kangaroo Mother Care kids were observed to be more likely to live into their 20s and they had larger brains. Also their families were more cohesive.

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Lead researcher Dr. Nathalie Charpak, who is associated with the Kangaroo Foundation in Bogotá, says it was indicated by this study that 20 years after Kangaroo Mother Care there are significant and long-lasting social and behavioral protective effects for the kids. This was true for kids who were extremely fragile at birth.

Families of children raised with Kangaroo Mother Care were more likely to stay together

The families of children raised with Kangaroo Mother Care were more likely to stay together and they tended to be more nurturing and protective. These kids had lower school absenteeism and a good ability to express feelings. They displayed less aggressiveness, hyperactivity and antisocial conduct when they were young adults.

Dr. Peter A. Singer, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada, says every two seconds somewhere in the world a premature infant is born. It was shown by this study that there is a better chance for premature and low birth weight babies to thrive when they have Kangaroo Mother Care. Brains are saved and tiny babies grow up to be healthier and wealthier with this special care.

With Kangaroo Mother Care there is constant skin-to-skin contact between the caregiver and infant

With Kangaroo Mother Care the parent or caregiver becomes an incubator and main source of food and stimulation for a child. With this technique there is constant skin-to-skin contact between the caregiver and infant. As soon as it is possible after birth the baby is placed in a kangaroo like position on the caregiver's chest. Breastfeeding accompanies this technique.

With Kangaroo Mother Care the mother and child are sent home from the hospital as soon as possible. Maintaining family solidarity around the small frail child is a primary element in the success of this type of care. Dr. Karlee Silver, who is the Vice President Programs at Grand Challenges Canada, says it has been demonstrated by this study that Kangaroo Mother Care can make a significant difference for premature and low birth weight infants. This is a cost-effective and modern method of child care which can and should be applied worldwide.

This study has been published in the journal Pediatrics. It has been indicated by this study that Kangaroo Mother Care has significant and long-lasting social and behavioral protective effects which have been seen 20 years after the intervention. Premature and low birth weight infants across the world could benefit from Kangaroo Mother Care.

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