Nathalie Charpak

"Kangaroo" Babies A Different Form of Parenting Publication date : May 25, 2005

First developed in Bogota, Colombia, more than fifteen years ago, the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) project is an original, completely natural and totally scientific methodology for the care of newborns which has since been adopted in more than thirty countries. The “Kangaroo” methodology contributes to infant development by creating a climate that favours bonding between parents and infants during the first hours after birth. Every year, KMC saves thousands of fragile infant lives in the developing countries of South America, Africa and Asia.
Originally created for the care of pre-term and low-weight infants, KMC is based on skin-to-skin contact between the newborn and the mother or father who carries the child against his or her body to avoid any drop in the infant’s temperature.
Nathalie Charpak gives a precise description, illustrated with numerous examples, of a method that facilitates parental responsiveness and early parent-infant bonding. In addition, KMC is easy to teach and makes few technical demands; it can thus be successfully implemented in neonatal units in maternity clinics all over the world.
The analysis and scientific evaluation of KMC (mortality rate, morbidity, bonding, etc.) show the advantages of a methodology that has already won over many parents in developed countries (France, Sweden, the U.K.).

Nathalie Charpak, a French paediatrician, has lived in Colombia for nearly twenty years. She works in the Integral Mother Kangaroo programme, at San Ignacio Hospital, in Bogota. Since 1994, she has headed the Kangaroo Foundation, which is responsible for evaluating and spreading the Kangaroo Mother Care methodology all over the world.