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New Research Shows 'Kangaroo Mother Care' Reduces Newborn Deaths More than 50 Percent
Date:3/29/2010

Up To Half A Million Newborn Lives Could Be Saved Each Year

Westport, Conn. (Vocus) March 29, 2010 -- Kangaroo Mother Care is one of the most effective ways to save preterm babies, according to a new meta-analysis released today on the effectiveness of this simple, low-cost intervention in which mothers serve as human incubators for their newborns. The research, led by Dr. Joy Lawn of Save the Children, appears today in a supplement to the International Journal of Epidemiology, which outlines the most effective interventions to reduce newborn and child deaths globally.

The review examined 15 studies in eight low- and middle-income countries, including three randomized controlled trials, and found a 51 percent reduction in newborn mortality when stabilized babies weighing less than four pounds (2,000 gm) received warmth and breast milk through continuous skin-to-skin contact on the chest of their mothers. The findings suggest that up to half a million newborn deaths due to preterm birth complications could be prevented each year if Kangaroo Mother Care were available for all preterm babies, particularly in low-income countries, where newborn mortality rates are highest.

“We are more confident than ever that Kangaroo Mother Care works,” said South African-based Dr. Joy Lawn, newborn health expert for Save the Children, and lead author of the analysis. “No matter if babies are born in Lilongwe, London or Los Angeles, preterm babies need extra care to survive. Kangaroo Mother Care is low-cost and feasible, and we now have proof it is one of the most highly effective ways to give more babies the chance to survive and thrive.”

Kangaroo Mother Care has Greatest Impact During First Week of Life
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New Research Shows 'Kangaroo Mother Care' Reduces Newborn Deaths More than 50 Percent
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