Kangaroo mother care can substantially reduce mortality in low-birth-weight newborns, Meta-analysis suggests

Kangaroo mother care can substantially reduce mortality in low-birth-weight newborns, Meta-analysis suggests

According to a meta-analysis, published online December 23 in Pediatrics, Kangaroo mother care (KMC) can considerably decrease mortality in low-birth-weight newborns. KMC is an intervention that aids skin-to-skin contact between newborn and mother.

Ellen O. Boundy, ScD, from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues have also discovered that KMC can reduce the risk of hypothermia, hypoglycemia, neonatal sepsis, and hospital readmission in newborns and boost the likelihood of exclusive breast-feeding.

Every year, an estimated 4 million newborns die with first 4 weeks of birth, despite substantial progress in the direction of Millennium Development Goal 4, aiming at decreasing the mortality of children below 5 years.

The researchers wrote the newborns who take birth before term or at low birth weight (LBW) are more vulnerable to neonatal mortality and morbidity, chronic disease, and inhibited growth and development.

In 1978, KMC was launched in Bogotá, Colombia as a substitute intervention to incubators for LBW infants. Dr Boundy and colleagues noted, “The World Health Organization defines KMC with 4 components: early, continuous, and prolonged skin-to-skin contact (SSC) between the newborn and mother, exclusive breastfeeding, early discharge from the health facility, and close follow-up at home”.

They added that KMC is assumed to enhance neonatal outcomes as it maintains infant's temperature and other important sign parameters via SSC and provides with the breastfeeding benefits.

During meta-analysis, Dr Boundy along with colleagues observed randomized trials and observational studies published in April 2014. They assessed the link between KMC and neonatal outcomes in newborns, having any gestational age and birth weight.