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The kangaroo method, also called the "kangaroo mother method" or "skin-to-skin contact", is an alternative that was created by pediatrician Edgar Rey Sanabria in 1979 in Bogotá, Colombia, to reduce hospitalization time and encourage breastfeeding of low birth weight newborns. Edgar observed that when they were placed skin-to-skin with parents or family members, newborns gained weight faster than those who did not, in addition to having fewer infections and being discharged earlier than babies who did not have this contact. did not participate in the initiative.
This method is started right after birth, still in the maternity ward, where parents are trained on how to hold the baby, how to position it and how to attach it to the body.In addition to all the benefits that the method presents, it still has the advantage of being low cost for the he alth unit and for the parents, therefore, since then, it has been used in the recovery of low birth weight newborns. Check out essential care for newborns at home.
What is it for
The purpose of the kangaroo method is to encourage breastfeeding, encouraging the constant presence of parents with the newborn in continuous contact, reducing hospitalization time and reducing family stress.
Studies show that in hospitals where the method is used, the amount of daily milk in mothers who make skin-to-skin contact with the baby is greater, and also, that the breastfeeding period lasts longer. See the benefits of prolonged breastfeeding.
In addition to breastfeeding, the kangaroo method also helps:
- Develop parents' confidence in handling the baby even after hospital discharge;
- Relieve the stress and pain of low birth weight newborns;
- Reduce the possibilities of nosocomial infection;
- Reduce the length of hospital stay;
- Increase parent-child bond;
- Prevent the baby from losing heat.
The baby's contact with the breast also makes the newborn feel cozy, since he can recognize the first sounds he heard during pregnancy, the heartbeat, breathing, and the mother's voice.
How it's done
In the kangaroo method, the baby is placed in a vertical position in skin-to-skin contact only with the diaper on the parents' chest, and this occurs gradually, that is, initially the baby is touched, and then placed in the kangaroo position. This contact between the newborn and the parents starts increasing, each day, the baby spends more time in the kangaroo position, by choice of the family and for as long as the parents feel comfortable.
The kangaroo method is performed in a guided manner, and by choice of the family, in a safe way and accompanied by a properly trained he alth team.
Due to all the advantages and benefits that the method can bring to the baby and the family, it is currently also used in newborns of normal weight, with the aim of increasing the affective bond, reducing stress and encouraging breastfeeding.