How effective is kangaroo mother care (KMC) in low birthweight (LBW) infants?
Although current evidence is mainly limited to the use of KMC in low/middle-income countries, there is emerging evidence use of KMC could improve breastfeeding rates in high-income countries. Since the control group in studies evaluating continuous KMC was in incubators or radiant warmers, the potential beneficial effects of KMC on morbidity and mortality of LBW infants would be expected to be greatest in settings in which conventional neonatal care is unavailable.
LBW (less than 2500g) is associated with an increased risk of neonatal morbidity and mortality, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and cardiovascular disease at adulthood. Conventional neonatal care of LBW infants is expensive and needs both highly skilled personnel and permanent logistic support. The major component of KMC is skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her newborn. The other 2 components of KMC are frequent and exclusive or nearly exclusive breastfeeding and attempt at early discharge from hospital.