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What is kangaroo mother care?

The WHO text explains: “KMC is the care of the preterm newborn placed in skin-to-skin contact with the mother. It is an effective and easy-to-use method to promote the health and well-being of both preterm and full-term infants.”

Health and well-being are the two key words and they are closely linked. Kangaroo has to do with the quality of care, it is a method that fits into the premature baby's therapy plan. It promotes close proximity and mother-baby contact, starting from the belief that the two should not be separated after birth. It is also helpful in a difficult period not only from a health point of view but also emotionally, for the whole family.

The main features of the KMC are:

  1. Continuous and prolonged skin-to-skin contact from birth between mother (or father) and baby; it can last, depending on the case, from one hour to ideally 24 hours. It is important that contact occurs with bare skin.
  2. Exclusive breastfeeding (optimum)8; Breast milk is essential for both the development and immune protection of the newborn. It is proven that thanks to intimate contact with the baby (KMC requirement) the mother produces more milk.
  3. It starts in the hospital and can continue at home; compared to conventional care where the mother is often far from the baby (in the incubator), KMC is a method that promotes mother-baby closeness and knowledge. It begins under medical supervision and can be continued at home with mutual benefit.
  4. Early discharge; compared to conventional methods, KMC allows a reduction in return home times.
  5. Support and follow up; once home the mothers are followed and continue the follow up as per medical indications.
  6. It is a non-invasive, effective, easy-to-apply method that puts the human aspect of treatment in the foreground.

In developing contexts, where basic health care is often lacking, KMC is implemented with the continuous method: the mother and the child are in contact as much as possible, up to 24 hours, so that the mother can promote thermoregulation in the newborn and act as an incubator.

In Western contexts defined as high settings, i.e. where advanced intensive care centers are guaranteed, an intermittent kangaroo method is instead predominantly applied, i.e. with long but not continuous 24-hour sessions.

In Italy there are finally many hospital facilities that embrace the high contact approach, not only for premature babies, a concrete sign of increasingly high and sensitive attention towards Birth.

Excerpt from the book "Let yourself be embraced" by Licia Negri

Wellness, not just practicality

What happens when you bring your baby

"The benefits also extend to the emotional and behavioral level.

Carrying satisfies both mother and baby: while I'm satisfying a practical need (I have my hands free, ) I'm also doing you good. Because I love you".

(from: Let yourself be embraced!, and Trevisini)


Dr. Antonio Marra, Head - Neonatal Intensive Care

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Dr. Ilaria Stucchi, Neonatologist.

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Dr. Marina Baldocci, Obstetrician.

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Dr. Piera Angela Bongiovanni, Obstetrician

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Dr. Maria Grazia Biagini

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Dr. Silvain MIstichelli, Osteopath

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Dr. Federica Mattei, Psychologist

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Dr. Franco de Luca. Pediatrician and author of "Children and too many medicines".

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Dr. Emanuela Geraci, Prenatal Counselor and Doula

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Dr. Angela Di Noia, midwife and breastfeeding consultant

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Dr. Laura Allemagna, expert in neonatal bioenergetic massage.

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Dr. Daniela Uslenghi, Psychologist and Director of the Hoffman Institute.

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Since May 2012, the Pediatrics-Neonatal Intensive Care unit of the Santa Croce Hospital in Moncalieri, which I direct, has started a collaboration with MHUG aimed at the implementation and facilitation of Marsupial therapy in our ward. The project consists of training for NICU operators and the supply of specific bamboo fiber slings for premature babies designed together with MHUG... to facilitate skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby. The mothers accepted and appreciated them.

Dr. Antonio Marra
Head - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Santa Croce Hospital, Moncalieri (Turin)
Foto entrata ospedale di Montebelluna con  due miniature di portabebè MHUG indossati

The 100% composite MHUG elastic band viscose bamboo, with OEKO-TEX® certification Standard 1000 is a high quality support, very soft to the touch and with a truly valid performance. The band manages to give excellent support and good weight distribution and at the same time has the ability to be gentle like a hug even in cases of premature newborns. Not bulky, easy to take anywhere, it can also be used by novice parents as it forgives small tying errors. I recommend it for newborns, especially in cases of prematurity or in newborns with low birth weight, and to all the triads that appear in the world of babywearing. A band that is a second skin, a soft embrace.

Dr. Chiodero Isabella
Neonatal pathology and neonatal nurse at the Montebelluna Civil Hospital, Treviso


Flavia Wanted
TV presenter and writer

I am also a hospital doctor specializing in Anesthesia and Resuscitation and an expert in the cardiac and pediatric sectors. I was still pregnant with Marco who bought the MHUG band and then the Mei Tai. I am no longer separated from it! A further - and by no means secondary - aspect that I love about the MHUG world is the excellence of the fabrics, and the fact that everything is Made in Italy. It is an attention and a signal of quality that is by no means taken for granted, and which cannot leave those who have only started shopping for babies indifferent.)

Dr. Stella Armini
Anesthetist and resuscitation doctor

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