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State of the art and recommendationsKangaroo mother care: application in a high-tech environment

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Since Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) was developed in Colombia in the 1970s, two trends in clinical application emerged. In low income settings, the original KMC model is implemented. This consists of continuous (24 h/day, 7 days/week) and prolonged mother/parent–infant skin-to-skin contact; early discharge with the infant in the kangaroo position; (ideally) exclusive breastfeeding; and, adequate follow-up. In affluent settings, intermittent KMC with sessions of one or a few hours skin-to-skin contact for a limited period is common. As a result of the increasing evidence of the benefits of KMC for both infants and families in all intensive care settings, KMC in a high-tech environment was chosen as the topic for the first European Conference on KMC, and the clinical implementation of the KMC model in all types of settings was discussed at the 7th International Workshop on KMC. Kangaroo Mother Care protocols in high-tech Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) should specify criteria for initiation, kangaroo position, transfer to/from KMC, transport in kangaroo position, kangaroo nutrition, parents’ role, modification of the NICU environment, performance of care in KMC, and KMC in case of infant instability. Conclusion: 

Implementation of the original KMC method, with continuous skin-to-skin contact whenever possible, is recommended for application in high-tech environments, although scientific evaluation should continue.
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Keywords: Implementation; Infant preterm; Kangaroo mother care; Neonatal intensive care; Skin-to-skin contact

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden 2: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA 3: University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa 4: Institute for Maternal and Child Health IRCCS, Bo Garofolo, Trieste, Italy 5: Kangaroo Foundation, Bogotá, Colombia 6: Neonatology Department, IRCCS Bo, Trieste, Italy 7: Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Manila, Philippines 8: Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain 9: Pontifica Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia 10: University Hospital, Brest, France 11: Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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