The World Health Organization has issued new guidelines stating that babies born prematurely should be immediately skin-to-skin and then placed in an incubator. This increases the life expectancy of the child. Image: file
Geneva: The World Health Organization said that premature babies who open their eyes at the age of 7 or 8 months instead of 9 months of pregnancy should be held by the mother before being transferred to the nursery, and that his skin be firm. In particular, this strategy should be tried on medically unstable children.
The World Health Organization said in a statement that when a mother cradles the baby in such a way that the skin of both of them sticks, it is given the medical name of kangaroo care, but now, after a slight change that the mother is said to give birth, the baby must be exposed immediately afterwards and it must be done before incubation. However, children who require immediate mechanical ventilation will be excluded.
Many babies around the world, including Pakistan, are born before 37 weeks and weigh less than two and a half kilograms. Medically and healthily such children are unstable. They usually have breathing and heartbeat problems.
In 2015, the global organization said that these babies should be placed in an incubator first and then the mother should provide kangaroo care. However, a long-term study found that providing kangaroo milk first can reduce infant mortality by up to 40 percent compared to keeping it in an incubator.
In this context, 3200 children with premature birth were evaluated in 5 countries in Africa and Asia. Kangaroos were compared before and after incubation. It was found that if the mother kept the baby close to her skin for an average of 17 hours a day immediately after birth, the death rate could be reduced by 25% compared to babies who had the first incubation. Then, if an incubator is installed, the mortality of these babies can be reduced by 40%, which together amounts to 65%.
According to experts, the mother’s touch warms the child, reduces his stress and above all increases the child’s immunity.