The results of a new clinical trial published on May 27 2021 in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows:
- Kangaroo mother care, which involves skin-to-skin contact and exclusive breastfeeding, significantly improves a premature or low birthweight baby’s chances of survival
- Starting kangaroo mother care immediately after birth has the potential to save up to 150,000 more lives each year (a further increase in survival of 25%), compared with the current recommendation of starting it only once a baby is stable
- Mother-Newborn Intensive Care Units will be critical to support the mother, or a surrogate, in providing this immediate, ongoing skin-to-skin contact from birth.
The lifesaving benefits of kangaroo mother care for babies born early or small and its continued importance during the COVID-19 pandemic are further strengthened with this pivotal new evidence on the benefits of starting the intervention immediately after birth. This provides the clear message that keeping the mother and the baby together helps the baby to survive and thrive. New WHO recommendations are expected later in 2021.
Read the paper: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2026486
Read the WHO story: bit.ly/3wKGz2b