Kangaroo Mother Care started in Bogota, Columbia, in an environment where there were too many babies and too little equipment and staff. Two or more babies were being placed in an incubator and this led to infections and often death. The doctors decided that a natural approach would be a good alternative and came up with the concept of Kangaroo Mother Care.
Kangaroo babies (Joeys) are always born prematurely and then crawl into their mother’s pouch where they are fed continuously and are provided with safety and the right environment. They stay in the pouch until they are ready for the outside world.
All human babies, especially premature and low-weight babies benefit from KMC:
KMC provides the all the protection baby needs as well as the correct stimulation.
The baby’s heart rate, temperature and breathing stabilizes.
Babies use less energy consuming movements, resulting in better weight gain.
Breastfeeding initiation is increased and therefore more babies are breastfed.
KMC babies experience less hospital induced infections.
Babies are nestled skin to skin with one of their parents.
Mother is hands free!!
A SHORT HISTORY OF BABY CARE:
“Oh Doctor, how should I look after my baby?”
BC 2000 “Just carry it next to your skin. Breastfeed it whenever it is hungry.”
AD 1660 “Breastfeeding is undignified. Hand it over to a wet-nurse.”
AD 1850 “Wet-nurses are low class and have an undesirable influence on the child. Get a good experienced nanny to bottle feed it cow’s milk, and wean it on to a cup as soon as possible.”
AD 1930 “Cow’s milk is unsuitable for babies. It must be bottle fed on a special infant formula.”
AD 1950 “Bottle feeding at all hours is bad for the baby. Follow a strict routine, let it sleep in its own room and ignore it when it cries at other times.”
AD 2000 “Bottle feeding is unsuitable, a strict time-table is nonesense, babies don’t like being alone, and crying is stressful. Just carry it next to your skin. Breastfeed it whenever it is hungry.”
(Joan Norton, 2001)