KOLKATA: Exactly a month ago, when she was found abandoned in a garbage vat near the NRS Medical College & Hospital, she was a tiny, shivering bundle exposed to the nightlong drizzle, suffering from hypothermia and struggling to breathe. Now, thanks to the team of doctors and nurses, who - literally - embraced the newborn and gave her life anew with a technique called 'Kangaroo Mother Care'.

The month-old baby, lovingly called Anamika, 'she who has no name', by her saviours, has made a complete recovery and is doing well.
Kangaroo Mother Care is, as the name suggests, a technique to nurse newborns in the manner a kangaroo mom carries her baby in her pouch. Adopted by humans, it involves holding the baby close to the chest - preferably by the mother - to facilitate skin-to-skin touch and transference of warmth. This improves weight, heart rate, breathing and body temperature.

Born after about just 31 weeks of gestation, Anamika had been rushed into NRS on June 27 after cops found her lying in a vat in severe respiratory distress. The immediate effort by the special newborn care unit (SNCU) was to save the massively underweight child by putting her on CPAP support and protect her from infection.
NRS baby gaining weight, off medicine
Kangaroo Mother Care was started at NRS once Anamika, the abandoned newborn, was out of danger.
"Kangaroo Mother Care should be given preferably by the mother and if she is not available, by the father or other family members. Since this baby has no one, some of our nurses and PG trainee doctors stepped in," said Asim Mallick, the SNCU (special newborn care unit) in-charge.
Since the hospital's SNCU has the regional Kangaroo Mother Care training centre, the nurses and doctors are all trained in it. Nurses Moityree Mondal, Joyita Sahu, Rajashree Maity, PG trainee doctors Sweta Paul, Madhurya Mondal, Mohammad Wadud and senior resident Bakul Sarkar went beyond their call of duty to administer Kangaroo Mother Care in turns to the newborn. "We all feel for this baby as she has no one to take care of her. That is why we decided to devote some time for her in between regular duty," said senior nurse Moitryee Mondal.
The baby is now gradually gaining weight, being fed milk donated by other mothers. Apart from vitamin supplements, she is off medication.
Indira Dey, NRS medical superintendent and vice-principal, said she felt "overwhelmed at this extraordinary humane touch" by doctors and nurses. "Once the baby attains a reasonable weight, we will hand her to the state child welfare committee," she said.



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