(Click to read on NYTimes.com)
So-called kangaroo mother care — which typically involves prolonged skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby, exclusive breast-feeding and quick discharge from the hospital — has many benefits for low-birth-weight infants, a new analysis has found.
Researchers reviewed 124 studies, each of which included a comparison group that did not receive kangaroo mother care, or K.M.C. All the studies included at least the skin-to-skin care component, and most were of babies weighing five-and-a-half pounds or less at birth.
Kangaroo mother care did not significantly affect heart rate, the risk of breathing problems, weight gain or body length. But it was associated with a 47 percent lower risk of sepsis (blood infection), a 78 percent lower risk of hypothermia and an 88 percent lower risk of hypoglycemia. K.M.C. babies were significantly less likely to be readmitted to the hospital.
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