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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2012 August;64(4):377-83


language: English

Kangaroo mother care: four years of experience in very low birth weight and preterm infants

Tuoni C. 1, Scaramuzzo R. T. 1, 2, Ghirri P. 1, Boldrini A. 1, Bartalena L. 1

1 Neonatology Unit. Mother and Child Department, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; 2 Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy


AIM:Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is a method of providing care for preterm infants through skin-to-skin contact with the mother and, preferably, exclusive breastfeeding. The growing interest in KMC at the Neonatology Unit of Pisa has provided the occasion for a retrospective analysis of the last four years, comparing the clinical effects of the kangaroo method vs. those obtained with conventional care (CNC) with respect to indicators of the general health of the infants (indices of growth, and duration of breastfeeding and hospitalization).
METHODS: A total of 213 infants, aged <37 gestational weeks and weighing ≤1500 g were enrolled for the study; these were divided into two groups for the purpose of comparison (91 in KMC vs. 71 in CNC).
RESULTS:The indices of growth and the duration of the infants in hospital were not significantly different in the two groups. Nevertheless, it is worth noting how KMC is more efficacious in the very tiny VLBW infants, and that the means of the growth parameters in the KMC infants are greater than those referring to the CNC subjects, body temperatures taken at the beginning and end of a KMC session are higher, and that the mother-child relationship facilitates better sucking-feeding.
CONCLUSION: While KMC is equivalent to CNC in terms of safety, thermal protection, morbidity and auxologic development, it appears to promote humanisation of infant care and mother-child bond more quickly.

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