World Kangaroo Awareness Day

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On May 15th, National Kangaroo Awareness Day is celebrated, a strategy that began 22 years ago in Brazil, with the aim of reducing the many complications associated with premature birth.

Criterion of humanized concern for low-weight newborns: The kangaroo method was influenced by Columbia, where the strategy was initiated due to the significant scarcity of resources in the area such as incubators, high incidence of infection, and low adherence to breastfeeding. Actions such as the presence of the mother in the neonatal unit, skin-to-skin contact, encouragement of breastfeeding and early emptying are guidelines used in the strategy.

Read also: Kangaroo mother care: What are the long-term effects?

Method steps

The Kangaroo method was developed in three phases: first starting in the prenatal period of a high-risk pregnancy followed by hospitalization (NB) in the neonatal unit with the procedures of welcoming parents and family into the unit, providing contact with low levels of adverse environmental stimuli, Determining appropriate sites for the National Bank, providing support for breastfeeding, among other things.

In the second stage, when the NB stays in the kangaroo unit continuously with its mother and in the kangaroo position for as long as possible. For eligibility and continuity at this stage, the following criteria must be followed: clinical stability, complete enteral feeding, minimum weight of 1250 grams, maternal willingness to participate, mother or father ability to recognize signs and situations of risk in NB, knowledge and skill in handling a note in a kangaroo position .

From 1600 g with exclusive suction to the mother’s chest, premature babies can be safely discharged from the hospital (stage III), provided that caregivers are encouraged early to provide care from their admission to the neonatal unit.

Outpatient follow-up should be ensured until the NB weight reaches 2500 g and the first consultation is performed within 48 hours after discharge, followed by at least consultations once a week, in addition to ensuring care in the hospital unit of origin until the end of this last stage.

The method is based on a neonatal neurodevelopmentally focused model of care, NIDCAP, which is an acronym for Neonatal assessment and individualized developmental care program Based on the active synchronous theory model of Hedley’s Ales (1982). The theory proposed by Heidelise Als is that the newborn has subsystems that are gradually developing, but that interact with each other and with the environment.

shape 1. Early subsystems of organization.

In this way, Als’ theory is based on respecting the cues (“cues”) that children give in a way that is subtle but essential to the performance of care, so as not to compromise their normal course of development. In this way, children are considered individuals, persons, and caring co-operators, supported and nurtured by their parents.

Parents are the primary caregivers, advocates, and caregivers of children, as well as contributors to care decisions. Members are the main supportive members of parents and children. Professionals and staff are partners in the care of children, parents and family members.

know more: AAP 2021: Hospital Practices Relating to Non-Pharmaceutical Measures of Food in FNS

The nursery and hospital environment and culture focus on effective support and direction of family relationships, promoting the individual health, growth, strengths, and healthy development of newborns in the context of the family and community.


review done by Cochrane review In 2016, the method was also found to be able to reduce indicators of morbidity and mortality among low birth weight neonates even in low-resource care settings, along with other advantages:

  • Reduce hospital infection.
  • Increase the rate of adherence to breastfeeding.
  • Reducing lower respiratory infections.
  • Reducing serious diseases.
  • More daily weight gain.

With its many advantages, it is impossible not to support and strengthen the method in Brazilian neonatal units. The knowledge of professionals and the involvement of families in the care of premature infants are important tools for the health of the newborn.

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Adriana Teixeira Reese
Doctor and Masters in Nursing. Specializes in neonatology, pediatrics and hospital management. He currently works on infection control and patient safety topics. Professor at UERJ, IFF and invited to other institutions. He also works in infection control, quality and patient safety consultancy.

Priscilla Barbosa Paiva
A nurse who specializes in treating hospital infections. Professor at the University of Estácio de Sá and the UFF. CIH Nurse at IFF/FIOCRUZ and Rio Mar Rede D’Or Hospital (HRM).

Camila Tenuto
Nurse (EEAAC/UFF) • Specialist in Neonatal Intensive Care (IFF/FIOCRUZ) • Specialist in Intensive Care (UNYLEYA) • Professional Master’s Degree Student in Health Education (EEAAC/UFF) • Routine Nurse in General CTI (HUPE/UERJ) .

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# Ministry of Health. Health care department. Strategic Program Actions Section. Humane Neonatal Care: The Kangaroo Method: Technical Manual / Department of Health, Department of Health Care, Department of Strategic Program Actions. – Third Edition. – Brasília, DF: Ministry of Health, 2017. 340 pages. : I. #Count-Agudelo A, Díaz-Rossello JL. Maternal kangaroo care to reduce morbidity and mortality in low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 8. Art. Number: CD002771. DOI: 10.1002 / 14651858.CD002771.pub4. # Lamy ZC, Morsch DS, Marba STM, Lamy Filho F. Today’s kangaroo method. In: Brazilian Pediatric Society. Procianoy RS, Leone CR, Regulators. PRORN Neonatal Update Programme: Session 14. Porto Alegre: Artmed Panamericana; 2017. pp. 11-41. (Distance Continuing Education System, Version 3). #Venancio SI, Almeida H. Kangaroo Mother Method: Application in Brazil, Scientific Evidence and Impact on Breastfeeding. Pediatrics Journal [online]. 2004, v. 80, no. 5 supplement [Acessado 15 Maio 2022] , s. s173-s180. DOI: 10.1590/S0021-75572004000700009.

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