Kangaroo (Mother) Care

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Kangaroo Care in a Low-birth weight baby:
Introduction
This assignment will aim to explore the impact of Kangaroo care in a low birth weight baby and determine any evidence to support this. A definition of Kangaroo care and also a brief history will be given. A literature search review will be attached and an article chosen for critique purpose will be discussed. A brief medical history of the mother of the baby will be provided. NMC (2007) advises on confidentiality therefore, the mother of the baby will be named as ‘Mrs Z’ and baby will be ‘baby T’. Background:

Low birth weight is recognized as a significant health problem and Kangaroo care (skin to skin) has been proposed as a conventional care for low birth weight babies (Ball, 2004). Low birth weight has been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as weight at birth of less than 2500g (WHO, 2004). Bailey (2012), agrees with WHO definition and also adds that low birth weight is defined as infant’s weight of less than 2500g regardless of gestation age. Maternal medical and social conditions before and during pregnancy have been identified as contributing factors to low birth weight infants (Ball, 2004). WHO (2004) women who are socially deprived are also presented with poor nutrition during pregnancy which contributes to low birth weight infants. Smoking, alcohol intake and drug abuse and some factors that could contribute to low birth weight babies, some of which were presented by Mrs Z. LBW is closely associated with fetal and perinatal mortality and morbidity, inhibited growth and cognitive development, and chronic diseases later in life (Ball, 2004). LBW is an important predictor of newborn health and survival and is associated with higher risk of infant and childhood mortality (Conde-Agudelo, Diaz-Rossello and Belizan, 2000). Whereas, Kangaroo care is a technique that would usually be practiced on newborns or pre term babies where the infants are held against an adults bare chest skin-to-skin (Cattaneo, et al 1998). The author was able to actively participate in kangaroo care provided to a low birth weight baby in both post-natal setting in hospital and within the community, for the same baby. The care provided to this compromised neonate and the support given to the family got the author interested in finding out more about the benefits or effects Kangaroo care had, and thus researching evidence supporting the same. This would eventually help the author in a positive promotion of kangaroo care during practice and also educate families on this very valuable care for both baby and family.

Literature Review
The NMC (2004), requires that all midwives base their practice on best available evidence in order to ensure that quality care is provided to the individual client at the right time (Cluett and Bluff, 2006). The author will take this opportunity to discuss and critique a research by Gregson and Blacker, (2011), titled, “Kangaroo care in pre-term or low birth weight babies in a postnatal ward” (Appendix 1). In order to obtain evidence that Kangaroo care is good for low birth weight babies, the author used a Boolean search method in order to explore the mnemonic PICO. PICO is an acronym representing four elements used when asking a clinical question (Craig and Smyth, 2007). The PICO search technique was preferred in order to minimise the number of articles produced and to produce only the relevant papers. The search statement for this paper was “kangaroo care and low birth weight”. Once the statement question was formulated, the search begun by using electronic databases which led to the London Southbank website via electronic sources. Searches were identified through electronic sources. Databases included CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Medline, Midwives’ information and resources services (MIDIRS), NICE Guidelines, Maternity and infant care (electronic sources) and local hospital guidelines (Appendix 2). The key words used to...
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