'Kangaroo mother care' promoted for long-term survival of preterm babies
Local children's hospitals are promoting "kangaroo mother care" with greater involvement of parents to support premature babies with low birth weights.
Being born prematurely can be a cause of death worldwide for children aged five and younger. It is also the leading cause of death for newborn babies in China, doctors said ahead of Friday's World Prematurity Day on Friday.
The day aims to raise awareness of preterm births and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide. Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year, accounting for about 10 percent of all babies born worldwide.
"Premature babies' bodies and organs are not fully developed, so they are more likely to suffer complications such as brain injury, respiratory distress syndrome, and retinopathy of prematurity," said Dr Cao Yun, director of the neonatology department of the Children's Hospital of Fudan University, the nation's largest newborn baby medical center that receives about 4,000 preterm babies from around the nation.
"In addition to introducing advanced treatment equipment and skills, we are promoting full-process preterm baby management with the participation of the parents to reduce their mortality and incidence of complications and boost their better growth and long-term life quality," Cao added.
Kangaroo mother care, the term used for skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her newborn, is actively promoted by the hospital for all hospitalized preterm babies with very or extremely low birth weights.
To streamline the service, family wards are also being developed for parents to stay with their premature babies to enhance the babies' development, allow them to better enjoy care and love from the family and also reduce the anxiety of parents due to separating from their hospitalized babies.
"We will have more family wards in the building we rae constructing for neonatology department," she said.