Kangaroo Mother Care

WHO recommends immediate KMC for preterm or low birthweight infants

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Care of Preterm or Low Birthweight Infants Group published their recommendations recently (September 2023)1. The WHO Guideline Development Group (GDG) made 25 recommendations, including that Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) should start immediately after birth as routine care for all preterm or Low Birthweight (LBW) newborn babies (except for those critically ill infants who are in shock, unable to breath spontaneously after resuscitation, or who require ventilatory support).

The GDG’s research included a review of the values of families in low-, middle- and high-income countries in caring for their preterm infants, ie “what matters” to them. Families indicated that they want a positive outcome for their baby, to be involved in delivering care, and to take an active role in deciding what interventions are given to their baby.

Kangaroo Mother Care, defined as continuous and prolonged skin-to-skin contact of the baby with the mother and support for exclusive breastfeeding or breastmilk feeding, was associated with reduced infant mortality (high certainty evidence), decreased infection and hypothermia (moderate certainty evidence), increased weight gain (low certainty evidence), and increased breastfeeding (very low certainty evidence)2. There was no evidence of harm attributable to KMC2

It was recommended that Kangaroo Mother Care should include medically stable pre-term born in community settings and LBW infants born at home, and that at least 8 hours per day of KMC should be provided. KMC should be initiated as soon as possible after birth (high certainty evidence), including for hospitalised infants who are not yet clinically stabilised unless the baby is critically sick, i.e., unable to breathe spontaneously even after resuscitation, is in shock, or requires mechanical ventilation.

The recommendations also confirmed the importance of keeping the baby and mother together and in empowering and supporting families to care for their preterm or LBW infants. The GDG supports the implementation of Kangaroo Mother Care globally, including in high income settings, and the provision of KMC by fathers and other caregivers as well as mothers.


SurePulse recognises the importance of Kangaroo Mother Care , including for those born preterm or low birthweight; Our vision is to give clinicians and healthcare providers the tools to provide optimal newborn care. We believe that wireless monitoring of key physiological vital signs will remove barriers to the increased provision of KMC – mothers (and partners) are often nervous about the welfare of their baby in providing Kangaroo Mother Care, and wireless monitoring has the potential to provide reassurance.  The SurePulse VS is SurePulse’s first device approved in the US, UK and EU for clinical use, and comprises a thermo-protective single-use cap that provides clinical teams with wireless, continuous and accurate heart rate information.


  1. WHO Care of Preterm or Low Birthweight Infants Group; https://doi.org/10. 1016/j.eclinm.2023. 102155
  2. Sivanandan S, Sankar MJ. Kangaroo mother care for preterm or low birth weight infants: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Glob Health. 2023;8(6):e010728. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh- 2022-010728.




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