A great deal can be said ABOUT KMC, but in these few pages I want to provide a practical approach. For more detailed information about the science and clinical knowledge about KMC, please visit our parallel site Skin-to-skin Contact.
- Skin-to-skin contact
- Support for Mum and baby
On the next two pages I summarise very briefly why KMC works, and explain a little about separation and stress, because stress is what all newborns experience when they are taken away from their mothers. This can lead to harm, if not least changes to the future personality of the baby.
We used to think that the newborn brain was “switched off”, and would start its development after some weeks of life. Actually, the brain is bursting with potential to develop from the moment of birth and it is KANGAROO MOTHER CARE that makes this best development possible. And so we emphasise that skin-to-skin contact should start from birth.
The word “kangaroo” is used as such animals have very immature offpsring, like premature babies. But in reality, this kangaroo like skin-to-skin contact is actually essential for human newborns, as all primates are cared for in this way also. So KMC should be for ALL NEWBORNS, not just prematures. On this page I provide practical advice on how to do this.
Then, premature babies need it all the more, because this is the basic biological necessity for survival of newborns. The brain, the body and the whole way the baby works depends on mother’s presence, and for prematures, this is more essential, not less. Technology CANNOT replace mother. We can add it for very premature infants whose development is not ready for life outside the womb.
In a less structured way, much of this information yo can see in the stories section, where there are photo essays that illustrate key messages in real life!