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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1990 Apr;31(4):335-9.

The "kangaroo-mother" method: evaluation of an alternative model for the care of low birth weight newborns in developing countries.

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La Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (DGCS) del Ministero per gli Alfari Esteri Italiano, Rome, Italy.


The "kangaroo-mother" method, that is nursing babies by continuously keeping them wrapped at the mother's breasts, has been proposed as an "appropriate technology" for the care of low birth weight (LBW) newborns in developing countries. We evaluated the effectiveness of this method as an alternative hospital care model in the Special Care nursery of the Central Hospital of Mapto, Mozambique. One hundred LBW newborns (mean birth weight 1329 g, SD +/- 208 g) were consecutively admitted to the "kangaroo-mother" section of the unit at the mean postnatal age of 11.6 days. Ninety-five of them were discharged alive after a mean period of 16.3 days of "kangaroo" nursing. During this period they were exclusively breast fed and their mean weight gain was 12.8 g/day. Besides being very effective in improving survival, this method favored the development of early mother-infant relations, which are certainly very important for the long term well-being of the child.

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