Kangaroo Mother Care in Oudtshoorn Hospital
Staff of the maternity ward at Oudtshoorn Hospital celebrated International Kangaroo Mother Care Day (KMC) on Thursday 15 May 2014 by wearing the design of their Kangaroo Carry Project (KCP).
The project has been launched in aid of small and premature babies that are born at the hospital. It also forms part of the hospital’s Mother and Baby Friendly Initiative (MBFI) – a status the hospital received in 2007.
KMC is the early, prolonged and continuous skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her newborn baby. Research has shown that it improves the baby’s heartbeat and stabilises breathing, prevents less serious infections, babies come out of incubators earlier and babies bond better with their parents.
The KCP ensures that every new mother who has a small or premature baby gets one of the shirts to use, or they can take it home at a minimal charge. The shirt, that folds in front, has an extra material band on the inside and is tied in a special way to ensure that the baby is safe and can lie cosy on mommy’s chest. Mothers look quite cute and can use their arms freely because their baby is tied safely.
The Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, said: “The Kangaroo Mother Care Project, as well as breast milk during the first months after birth, is very important. Our Department supports the initiatives because it helps to bring the Western Cape in line with healthcare worldwide. The World Health Organisation encourages these projects because in the bigger picture more people can have a better quality of life. Congratulations to Oudtshoorn Hospital and all the staff who work hard to accomplish this.”
Since the start of 2014, Oudtshoorn Hospital also has their own breast milk bank. Premature babies get donor breast milk if their own mothers do not have sufficient breast milk. The maternity ward of Oudtshoorn Hospital would like to make use of this opportunity to thank all the donors for their involvement with mothers with premature babies, as well as for the following voluntary donations: breast milk, kangaroo shirts, caps, socks, blankets, toiletries and all the other items.