Kangaroo mother care to reduce morbidity and mortality and improve growth in low-birth-weight infants
Every year, more than 20 million infants are born weighing less than 2.5kg – over 96% of them in developing countries. These low-birth-weight (LBW) infants are at increased risk of early growth retardation, infectious disease, developmental delay and death during infancy and childhood.
Conventional neonatal care of LBW infants is expensive and needs both highly skilled personnel and permanent logistic support. Evidence suggests that kangaroo mother care is a safe and effective alternative to conventional neonatal care, especially in under-resourced settings and can reduce morbidity and mortality in LBW infants as well as improve growth and breastfeeding. Kangaroo mother care involves:
- early, continuous and prolonged skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her newborn
- frequent and exclusive breastfeeding
- early discharge from hospital.
Further research is needed before specific recommendations can be made.
Status: not currently available
Other guidance documents
Kangaroo mother care: a practical guide
Pocket book of hospital care for children: second edition. Guidelines for the management of common illnesses with limited resources
Related Cochrane reviews
Kangaroo mother care to reduce morbidity and mortality in low birthweight infants
Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants
Other related systematic reviews
'Kangaroo mother care' to prevent neonatal deaths due to preterm birth complications
Maternal satisfaction and clinical effect of kangaroo mother care in preterm infants: a meta‐analysis