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Saving Babies’ Lives by Carrying Them Like Kangaroos

In a positive affirmation of the importance of human touch, The Atlantic has presented examples of babies’ needs to be held, touched and have skin-to-skin contact, even when they are born premature. One of the latest techniques for providing this contact is called “Kangaroo Mother Care,” which encourages parents to be human incubators for their babies.

The technique calls for 24-hour, direct skin-to-skin contact. It also includes a no-bathing rule for the baby. Remarkably, when this technique was introduced at a Columbian hospital, death rates and infections dropped immediately. This is exciting news, especially when maternal and infant mortality rates in the U.S. are an embarrassment. Here, infant mortality rates are higher than any of the other 27 wealthy countries reported by the CDC.

The maternal death rates are particularly confounding because, after analyzing the data, they appear to be due to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Obesity, in particular, is fueling cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke in new mothers and the general population.

Also noteworthy is that the mother's immune system plays a critical role in the development of her unborn baby, including the baby's neurological and immunological systems.

Some steps you can take to protect yourself and your baby if you are pregnant include eating for vitality and health; minimizing pesticide exposure; avoiding exposure to phthalates; optimizing your vitamin D levels and just saying no to vaccines, as research shows the number of childhood immunizations given in the first year of life had predictive value on infant mortality rates. A higher number of childhood immunizations given resulted in higher rates of infant mortality.
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