Kangaroo Care method reduces risks to premature babies

October 02, 2019 - 08:47

A method that involves parents holding their babies to their bare chests has helped triplets born prematurely at the Obstetrics Hospital of Can Tho City gain weight and survive.


The Kangaroo Care method of holding a baby to the bare chest of caretakers has helped reduce the mortality rate of premature newborns at the Obstetrics Hospital of Cần Thơ City. VNA/VNS Photo Ánh Tuyết

CẦN THƠ — A method that involves parents holding their babies to their bare chests has helped triplets born prematurely at the Obstetrics Hospital of Cần Thơ City gain weight and survive.

The Kangaroo Care method allows for warm skin-to-skin contact which helps maintain body temperature, respiration and digestion. 

Dr Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Hà, deputy head of the hospital’s Neonatal Department, on Monday told Việt Nam News Agency that the babies, including one girl and two boys, were born via vaginal birth after 27 weeks of pregnancy on September 5. They weighed 1,100 grammes, 1,240 grammes and 1,200 grammes.

Babies born prematurely and at such a low weight face risks such as respiratory failure, low blood glucose, neonatal infection and others, according to Hà.

Initially, the hospital’s doctors used various methods including continuous nasal positive airway pressure before taking the babies to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Their respiration improved two days after treatment.

After that, the newborns were taken to their mother’s room where doctors gave instructions in the Kangaroo Care method to their parents and grandparents.

The method improved the immunity of the babies, which were fed breast milk. The babies are now at a reasonable weight. 

The hospital uses the Kangaroo Care method for premature babies as soon as possible after birth, according to Hà.

This method helped raise the survival rate of premature babies with low weight, she said. Doctors recommend the use of the Kangaroo Method until the children are nine months and 10 days old. 

Many obstetrics hospitals in the country have been using this method in an aim to reduce the neonatal mortality rate. Fifty per cent of all deaths in Việt Nam are from premature births.

Premature newborns are born with immature organs, which lead to a high risk of mortality and difficulty adapting to the environment.

Each year, more than 10,000 neonatal deaths occur in the country, according to UNICEF Việt Nam.

In 1997, Từ Dũ Obstetrics Hospital in HCM City set up a unit called Kangaroo Mother Care which has been used for more than 10,000 premature babies. This kind of care was initiated in 1978 by doctors in Colombia to solve a shortage of incubators. However, many countries, including developed countries, began to use it later. VNS