Kostandy RR, Ludington-Hoe SM. The evolution of the science of kangaroo (mother) care (skin-to-skin contact). Birth Defects Res. 2019 Sep 1;111(15):1032-1043. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1565. Epub 2019 Aug 16. PMID: 31419082.
In the early 1970s, researchers in Ohio, USA, investigated the effects of “Extra Contact” between mothers and their infants early after birth. The “Extra Contact” consisted of the skin-to-skin holding of the newborn infant on the mother’s bare chest as soon as possible after birth. In the mid 1970s, Rey and Martinez in Bogota Colombia started investigating the same care method and they called it “Kangaroo Care” (KC). Infants are held upright, skin-to-skin on the mother’s bare chest. KC, also referred to as Kangaroo Mother Care or Skin-to-Skin Contact, has been and continue to be investigated for its effects on a plethora of infant, maternal and family outcomes. Evolution of our understanding of the advantages of KC has dramatically changed the care of infants including at risk infants. This article provides a look at the past and present. It also provides insight on how we can shape the future to provide the optimal care for infants, mothers, and the whole family.
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