Kangaroo mother care (KMC) is an effective and safe alternative to conventional neonatal care in low birthweight (LBW) infants mainly in resource-limited countries.
Low birthweight (LBW) (less than 2500 g) 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 (SSC) between a mother and her newborn. The other two components of KMC are frequent and exclusive or nearly exclusive breastfeeding and attempt of early discharge from hospital. Compared with conventional neonatal care, KMC was found to reduce mortality at discharge or 40 - 41 weeks' postmenstrual age and at latest follow up, severe infection/sepsis, nosocomial infection/sepsis, hypothermia, severe illness, lower respiratory tract disease, and length of hospital stay. Moreover, KMC increased weight, head circumference, and length gain, breastfeeding, mother satisfaction with method of infant care, some measures of maternal-infant attachment, and home environment. There was no difference in neurodevelopmental outcomes at one year of corrected age.