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This paper recommends KMC as the essential standard of care – starting immediately after birth – for all babies born early (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or small (under 2.5 kg at birth). The paper seeks to enable the expansion of KMC within health facilities and at home, globally. This follows the release of landmark new guidelines published last year, which recommend KMC as the essential standard of care for all preterm and low birthweight babies, starting right after birth. The new document highlights that it should be available both for babies that are well and sick – for at least eight hours a day – including in intensive care.

Developed by WHO in collaboration with a multi-country, multi-stakeholder working group comprising country programme managers, bilateral agencies, donor organizations, professional associations and non-governmental organizations, parents’ groups, specialized partnerships like PMNCH, and international experts and scientists, this resource is directed to programme partners, policy makers and the broader public health community.

This paper was also released with the Kangaroo Mother Care: Implementation strategy for scale-up adaptable to different country contexts