A new medical practice for premature babies
-Touching or No Touching-
In the world, more than 300 thousand people are born in a day, but 10 percent of them are born as premature babies. The premature birth rate has increased by about 36 percent since the early 1980s, and many of them have died. Fortunately the good news is that the survival rate of the preterm has increased remarkably due to improvements in neonatology, such as using incubator transport. However, compared with in utero transport, incubator transport, based on separation between with mother and infants, is not natural thing, and it still has risks. Incubator transport for preterm still has some known disadvantages including infant instability by lack of adequate systems for securing the infant, and separation of mother and infant. Even though it has some risk, it has been known as an optimal practice for care of extensible number of premature infants. According to Statehealthfacts.org, in the United States in 2009, there were 502,306 preterm births born. This is 12.2% of births in the United States, 2009.
Table.1 Number of births, number of preterm births, and preterm births as a percent of all births in the United States 2009 Normal full term babies are born at 38 weeks. Babies born before 37 weeks are defined as premature babies, and those born between 24 and 29 weeks are ‘extremely premature’. They usually have less weight than 1.5kg (3.3lb). And all babies born with less than standard birth weight, 2.1kg (4lb) are at risk. Therefore, babies born early need special care and monitoring to help them to gain weight. To reduce disadvantages of incubators and improve care preterm babies, ‘Kangaroo care,’ a new medical practice for preterm babies, was introduced and being conducted in some united states medical facilities. Kangaroo care is also known as kangaroo mother care, kangaroo baby care, and skin to skin care. Although the name varies, the concept is that holding an infant, naked except for a diaper and hat, against the bare chest of an adult for the purpose of providing the infant with a natural thermal environmental, nurturing touch, and enhanced opportunity to breast-feed. “Although numerous studies have explored the value of kangaroo care for premature or stressed newborns, the literature informing the effects of kangaroo care to people is scarce” the study by Janice Collisons said. Mostly, the incubator as a present medical system is being used. The current predominant model of neonatal stabilization like incubators involves placing the infant in an open warmer immediately after delivery. This practice immediately separates the mother and infant during a crucial period of extra uterine adaptation, and may be a venue for delayed neonatal physiological adaptation, reduced breast-feeding, and impaired maternal infant bonding. The goal of my research is to know the benefits of kangaroo care as a stabilization method for preterm infants, and to figure out how it contributes the health of infants.
In March of 2010, a mother gave birth to a premature infant son, named Jamie. She was told that the baby had died despite the best efforts of the medical staff. She was given a chance to hold and cuddle him on her chest in order to say goodbye. When placed on her chest, his breath began coming in short bursts, and his parents and the medical staffs were astonished when Jamie opened his eyes with stable breathing. Jamie is now a normal active 2 year old boy. What this mother and child experienced is kangaroo care because it is similar to the same care a baby kangaroo receives in its mother’s pouch. Doctor, Susan Ludington says “many people don’t understand this situation, but there are eight reports of other babies revived by kangaroo care. The mother can stimulate the baby to live. I think the Kangaroo care helped” In fact, this method had been used in Colombia. Due to increasing mortality rates in Bogota, Colombia, in 1978, Dr. Edgar Rey...
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Celeste Johnson. “Kangaroo care is effective in diminishing pain response in preterm neonates” (2003) Web Mar 11. 2012 < http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/157/11/1084 >
Bergman. “Kangaroo Mother Care”. Geddes Productions (2003). Web Feb 22. 2012
Mhaire Fraser. “Mom Uses Kangaroo Care to Revive Child Pronounced Dead.” Care2 Make a Difference. Web. 22 Feb, 2012
Krisanne Larimer. “Kangaroo Care Benfits” Premature Baby. Web. 22 Feb, 2012
Jane Sheppard. “Breastfeeding for a strong immune system”. Web. 20 Mar, 2012
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