Ensuring Kangaroo mother care for low birth weight and preterm babies

Tulsi a young mother looks relaxed and comfortable with her baby nestled close to her. She is very thankful to the Labor room staff of District Hospital Dumka in rural Jharkhand where she delivered on May 11, 2017.

After the initial anxiety of delivering before time a small baby she now looks relieved. She feels that Kangaroo Mother Care saved her baby’s life. She says, “Didi (nurse) explained me that a mother’s body is the best incubator for underweight and preterm babies to develop. Kangaroo Mother Care is an easy method which can be done at home as well, I am grateful that my baby survived and is doing well”.

Tulsi is only 18 years old and belongs to the Tribal community of Santhal in Jharkhand, her village is located in a remote area with poor access to maternal and newborn health care services. Kangaroo Mother Care is a recommended practice for preterm and low birth weight infants in resource constraint settings. It is a simple yet effective method to promote the health and well-being of small and preterm newborns. Globally, prematurity is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5, almost 1 million children die each year due to complications of preterm birth1.

VRIDDHI through its Care around Birth approach is training labor room nurses on handling complications such as preterm and low birth weight newborns who’s lives are at risk. This model of Kangaroo Mother Care intervention under VRIDDHI is meant for implementation within the labor room and post-natal ward. The project has also developed a model for very low birth weight infants who require specialized care at Sick Newborn Care Units.