Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Kangaroo mother care: a practical guide


World Health Organization, Dept. of Reproductive Health and Research

Publication details

Number of pages: 48
Publication date: 2003
Languages: English, French, Spanish
ISBN: 9241590351 (English); 9242590355 (French); 9243590359 (Spanish)
WHO reference number: WS 410 2003KA (English); WS 410 2003KA-1 (French); WS 410 2003KA-2 (Spanish)



Kangaroo mother care is a method of care of preterm infants. The method involves infants being carried, usually by the mother, with skin-to-skin contact. This guide is intended for health professionals responsible for the care of low-birth-weight and preterm infants. Designed to be adapted to local conditions, it provides guidance on how to organize services at the referral level and on what is needed to provide effective kangaroo mother care. The guide includes practical advice on when and how the kangaroo-mother-care method can best be applied.