Kangaroo Care

By Anupum Pant

Often apocryphal stories get posted around and go viral on social media. And most times┬áit is hard to discern the real from the fake. This story, of a newborn coming back to life from being clinically dead, seems like one of those posts which are made with a sole aim in mind – make it go viral on social media. But trust me, even if it seems unreal, it’s actually true.

Kate Ogg prematurely gave birth to twins, one of which was announced clinically dead after doctors couldn’t get him to breathe. Her son Jamie who was born after just 27 weeks of pregnancy languished within twenty minutes of birth. His twin sister however survived the premature birth.

After about five minutes after doctor had pronounced him dead, Jamie started displaying random, startled movements. According to doctors, it was normal a normal reflex and did not mean that Jamie was alive.

The mother was devastated and wanted to hold her son. She held him tight and caressed the body for about two hours. Miraculously, the baby’s movements started becoming more pronounced after the mother’s magical touch. And soon he opened his eyes!

It was later understood that the mother unknowingly did something called “kangaroo care” – named after kangaroos of course, in which the just born’s body generates heat just like a newborn kangaroo does when it’s held in its mother’s pouch.

The medical benefits of skin-to-skin contact have been long known among the scientific community, but it is not encouraged, and also not allowed at many hospitals in developed countries. It’s very common for mother’s in poorer countries to do this where┬áincubators may not be available for premature babies.

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