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UAB-led study shows simple steps could reduce stillbirths by up to 1 million
Date:2/18/2010

ons would reduce perinatal and neonatal mortality in the first week of life in infants weighing at least 1500 grams in rural communities in developing countries.

"Major global causes of perinatal mortality are birth asphyxia and low birth weight/prematurity," Carlo said. "We wanted to find out if these low-cost interventions, including neonatal resuscitation training and kangaroo care, effectively reduced deaths from these causes worldwide. A preliminary smaller study in Zambia has shown that improved skill and knowledge in birth attendants in perinatal care reduced neonatal mortality."

Kangaroo care is a technique used on a newborn, usually a preterm infant, wherein the infant is held, skin-to-skin, with an adult. It is used to provide closeness of the newborn with mother and/or father to ensure physiological and psychological warmth and bonding. The kangaroo position also provides ready access to nourishment. The mother's body responds to the needs of the infant directly, helping regulate the infant's body temperature more smoothly than an incubator; her milk adjusts to the nutritional and immunological needs of her fragile infant, and the baby sleeps more soundly.

The train-the-trainer program used various teaching methods, including clinical practice sessions and demonstrations for the trainers. Carlo and his colleagues also developed instructions on the essential techniques with visual cues to assist birth attendants who could not read. The essential newborn-care intervention was assessed with a before-and-after design. The neonatal resuscitation program intervention was assessed as a cluster randomized control trial.

The stillbirth rate decreased significantly for nurses/midwives and traditional birth attendants following essential newborn care training. The stillbirth rate also decreased among home deliveries. There was not a significant decrease in all-cause first week mortality or stillbirth for those usin
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Contact: Jennifer Lollar
jpark@uab.edu
205-934-3888
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

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