The hospital’s M-NICU marks the first of its kind in a private set-up amid the Indian healthcare ecosystem, with special focus on Kangaroo Mother Care and immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth
FARIDABAD/January 29, 2024: Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, which is India’s largest private multi-speciality healthcare institution, has launched a Mother-Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (MNICU), marking the first of its kind in the private healthcare sector. The unit prioritises a “zero separation from birth” policy which in alignment with World Health Organization’s (WHO) research which found the indisputable role of immediate-after-birth Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) in saving lives of neonates.
With ever-rising neonatal deaths due to prematurity and low birth weights, the establishment of M-NICUs has become the need of the hour. WHO’s Immediate Kangaroo Mother Care (iKMC) trial, conducted in five centers, including India, focused on infants weighing 1 to 1.8 kgs. Research revealed that initiating KMC immediately after birth and prolonging its duration reduced neonatal deaths by 25%. This led to the establishment of M-NICUs, emphasizing the critical role of early initiation of continuous Kangaroo Mother Care in enhancing the survival of preterm infants.
Dr. Nidhi Gupta, Senior Consultant, Department of Neonatology, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad said, “Zero separation of small and sick babies in M-NICU has proven to minimize infection and low-temperature risks while promoting early breastfeeding. This approach strengthens an emotional bond between mother and baby, enhancing maternal satisfaction and making mothers the primary caregivers under supervision, aligning with Family-Centered Care principles.”
Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, with the launch of their M-NICU, aims to foster a supportive environment for new mothers and neonates alike. The hospital provides complimentary stays, ensuring a holistic approach to care. With earmarked spaces for self-care and regular rounds by the obstetric team, the M-NICU has served around 50 mother-neonate dyads. The staff at Amrita’s operation theatres, labour rooms, and NICUs have also been trained by experts, under the guidance of Dr. Pratima Mittal, HoD, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Dr. Hemant Sharma, Consultant, Department of Neonatology, to ensure sustainability. Positive feedback and successful outcomes, particularly with preterm infants discharged healthy and exclusively breastfed, showcase the impactful and compassionate nature of this initiative.
Chief Guest at Amrita Hospital Faridabad’s MNICU launch, Dr. V. K. Paul, Member of NITI Ayog said, “Reflecting on the past, the exclusion of mothers from ICUs seemed odd, rooted in unfounded fears. The realization dawned that limiting a mother’s time with her infant to a specific window was unjust. Embracing KMC unveiled its transformative impact on both infants and maternal sentiments. Through rigorous psychological testing, we observed KMC’s calming effect, reducing anxiety and worries for mothers. This propelled us to delve deeper into the research, evolving KMC from a study to a movement. Today, it stands as a pivotal stream, acknowledging the profound role of mothers in the healing journey of babies in the ICU.”
Guest of Honour, Dr. Rajiv Bahl, Director General, ICMR said, “The journey from separating mothers and infants to embracing Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is a testament to transformative change. Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, stands as a beacon, creating M-NICUs outside government realms. The swift integration of KMC into global guidelines echoes the profound shift in recognizing the irreplaceable bond between a mother and her child. In the pursuit of medical care, the unity of mother and newborn is not just a choice but a necessity, transcending decades of separation to redefine compassionate healthcare.”
KMC in M-NICU significantly reduces infant deaths, infections, and complications like hypothermia. Initiated immediately post-delivery, transport, and continuous KMC in the NICU enhance breastfeeding, shorten hospital stays, and promote bonding. For infants on respiratory support, a unique securing method maintains airway patency, while monitoring heart rate and oxygen levels ensures comprehensive care in the M-NICU setting.
“At Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, we take immense pride in launching North India’s first M-NICU in a private set-up. This milestone aligns with our commitment for advancements in healthcare. By prioritizing Zero Separation, promoting Immediate Kangaroo Mother Care, and providing comprehensive support, we aim to redefine neonatal care. The M-NICU reflects our dedication to enhancing survival rates and fostering early mother-infant connections, marking a proud moment for our institution and a significant stride in healthcare innovation,” said Dr. Sanjeev Singh, Medical Director, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad.