when the baby is born prematurely Immediate skin-to-skin contact could save their lives.
Instead of placing the underweight newborn in the incubator New research suggests they should be near the breasts of their mothers or close caregivers. and only breastfed
This approach, known as kangaroo care, has proven to be one of the best and safest ways to treat premature babies with low birth weight. resulting in fewer infections The rate of breastfeeding is higher. and weight gain in the study
despite the increased benefits But it hasn’t been widely accepted.
The World Health Organization currently recommends continued kangaroo care for all premature babies. But after they were taken out and declared clinically stable in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
A randomized, cohort trial in five hospitals suggests the WHO recommendation separates babies and mothers too early. Hospitals should use a mother-infant care unit with beds and chairs. so that hospital staff can take care of parents and new babies at the same time.
The study involved 3,211 underweight infants in Ghana, India, Malawi, Nigeria and Tanzania who were receiving immediate care in Specially arranged “Mother-NICU” or being separated from their parents for normal care with a short time Exposure is allowed after the first 24 hours.
during the first three days Infants with immediate skin contact are confined to the Mother-NICU for approximately 17 hours a day. meanwhile Babies in incubators or diffusion warmers were exposed for only 1.5 hours a day.
Compared to general newborn care Babies exposed to immediate parental exposure are 25% less likely to die in the first month of life.
Consecutive newborns are also less likely to develop hypothermia and bacterial septicemia. This may be because these babies are getting more of their mother’s protective microbiome. are more likely to receive breast milk early and be cared for by fewer people
Avoiding stress separation between mother and baby may result in better health outcomes. The contact between the baby and the mother stabilizes the newborn’s heart rate, calms breathing and reduces crying.
Rajiv Bahl, WHO’s head of research and development in maternal and neonatal health, said: “Keeping the mother and baby together from birth without being separated from each other It will revolutionize how rigorous neonatal care is available for preterm or small infants,” said Rajiv Bahl, WHO head of research and development in maternal and neonatal health.
“This study shows that caring for mother kangaroos has the potential to save lives. If started immediately after giving birth These are findings relevant to countries of all income levels.”
Today, more than 96 percent of babies with low birth weights are born in developing countries. And these children are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases. developmental delay and death
Conventional newborn care is expensive and requires excellent logistical skills and support. which many lower income countries cannot afford. On the other hand, kangaroo care is a much safer and more effective alternative to adopting
The findings support a recent meta-analysis which found that kangaroo care after clinical stabilization resulted in a 40% reduction in infant mortality.
Yet, many premature babies do not enter that stage. Studies have shown that nearly 50 percent of newborn deaths in many Asian and African countries occur within 24 hours of birth, and 80 percent occur in the first week of life. This means that there are many deaths before the kangaroos can begin to be cared for.
Nils Bergman, from the Karolinska Institutet, explains, “The concept of providing skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth to very small and unstable babies was met with quite strong resistance, but about 75 percent of deaths occurred. Occurs before the baby is judged to be stable enough” in Sweden.
If the baby is underweight, kangaroos are taken care of immediately. The authors of the new study estimate that it can save 150,000 underweight newborns each year.
The WHO is currently reviewing kangaroo care guidelines.
The study was published in Nejme.