Immediate kangaroo mother care, which involves skin-to-skin contact with the mother and exclusive breastfeeding, started as soon as a preterm or low birthweight baby is born, dramatically improves survival. This now been unambiguously shown to be vastly superior to separation (incubators) in terms of survival of low birth weight neonates. Dr. Barak Morgan, a GRG member, is a member of the team of researchers who took part in this clinical trial, results of which are published in New England Journal of Medicine.
This new study suggests that when compared with separation, starting kangaroo mother care immediately after birth can save up to 150,000 more lives each year. Instead of having separate post-natal and neonatal ICU’s, immediate kangaroo mother care entails a single Mother-Neonate ICU where either or both the mother/baby can be treated without the need for separation.
WHO Immediate KMC Study Group, 2021. Immediate “Kangaroo Mother Care” and Survival of Infants with Low Birth Weight. New England Journal of Medicine, 384: 2028-38. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2026486