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Skin to skin contact said to cut premature birth deaths

Premature birth death and disability rates could be cut significantly across the globe simply by mothers carrying their babies’ skin-to-skin according to a leader expert in premature care. Professor Joy Lawn stated that skin to skin contact, also known as kangaroo care, is the key to helping a premature baby grow instead of expensive intensive treatment.

Every year an estimated 15 million babies around the globe are born prior to the 37 week mark when they are then considered full term. These babies account for about 10% of disease globally and about one million of all of these babies die. Out of those that survive their premature births about three percent have severe or moderate impairments and another four percent have mild impairments.

Professor Lawn explained that the standard of care for premature babies right now is intensive care, but 85% of all babies that are figured into the premature figure come six weeks early or less. These babies require help with temperature control, feeding, and have a higher chance of infection than their counterparts. Immature lungs and breathing difficulties only occur in babies that are born prior to 32 weeks.

This fact is important because only babies that have breathing problems are not applicable for kangaroo care; the rest of premature babies will benefit greatly from kangaroo since it reduces the chance of infection and also helps to establish breastfeeding.

UK Charity member Bliss, Duncan Wilbur, explained kangaroo care already saves many lives in countries such as Africa and it needs to be considered important in other nations in the world as well. He went on to say that even though medical technology in the UK is very advanced, sometimes something as simple as skin-to-skin is what is required in order to regulate the heart rate of a child and regulate their breathing.

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