Kangaroo Mother Care -- a technique in which a breastfed premature infant remains in skin-to-skin contact with the parent's chest rather than being placed in an incubator -- has lasting positive impact on brain development, revealed Université Laval researchers in the October issue of Acta Paediatrica. Very premature infants who benefited from this technique had better brain functioning in adolescence -- comparable to that of adolescents born at term -- than did premature infants placed in incubators.
"Thanks to Kangaroo Mother Care, infants benefited from nervous system stimulation -- the sound of the parent's heart and the warmth of their body -- during a critical period for the development of neural connections between the cerebral hemispheres. This promoted immediate and future brain development," suggests neurophysiologist Cyril Schneider. [emphasis mine]
image from Glad Childhood