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4 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting that they don’t take into account the type of care the baby receives. Many premature babies live in isolation, with lights on all day and little to no regular holding or stimulation. By contrast, “Kangaroo Care” was developed in Columbia, where the premature infant is given lots of skin to skin contact and is exclusively nursed. Kangaroo Care improves cognitive outcomes as well as a host of other improvements. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that FAILURE to promote Kangaroo Care leads to a DECREASE in cognitive or other skills.

    This is not new information. It should be universal practice, but of course it is not. Obstetrics is second only to psychiatry in its insistence on maintaining ineffective practices in the face of contrary evidence.

    A brief summary of history and effects: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_care

    — Steve

    • That is a very good point. I always had a picture of premature babies in incubators, which can’t be touched by anyone and are under strong lights so was quite shocked that when a friend of mine got her baby prematurely she was told to spend at least 2h daily just putting the child on her breast next to the heart. The kids were put into a quiet room with dim lights and into special beds which imitated the closeness of womb. Happily her baby is healthy and developing well and since I’ve seen it I believe that it makes a huge difference the way the kids are handled. Of course, for some babies there is more disruption if they need invasive procedures but nonetheless parents are encouraged to offer the baby as much human interaction as possible and in the same time babies are kept in minimal sensory stimulation environment. I didn’t know it was called “Kangaroo Care” :). This should totally be standard care.

    • “Interesting that they don’t take into account the type of care the baby receives.” I agree. My first child was born at 35 weeks, it was quite a frightening time. But he was able to come home in a week.

      He ended up being admitted, and was the youngest child in his class, to a “school for gifted children” at the age of three.

      He ended up getting 100% on his state standardized tests by the time he was in eighth grade, and was valedictorian of his high school class. So I hope this won’t move into an assumption on the part of the medical community that most preterm babies have problems.